Sunday, May 19, 2013


I was reading an article in O Magazine recently about Brene Brown a University of Houston professor.

She wrote a book. In it she wrote, "If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path." I love profound thoughts. I love thinking about them, trying to wrap my brain around them, and contemplating the truth found within them. This qualifies.

Vulnerability is such a scary concept. To open oneself up to someone else and give them the opportunity to hurt us doesn't seem like it would be a good idea in and of itself. However, to grow closer to another person, to truly learn more about that person and to recipricate requires vulnerability.

In fact, I think that when we have relationships and we refuse to be vulnerable with each other, we either force the relationship into stagnation, or, if we are vulnerable and then regress, we run the chance of the relationship dying. Vulnerability can be the oxygen that feeds the fire of the relatioship or when denied, the lack of it kills the relationship.

Just saw a movie preview that says "Fear is a choice." Seems to go right with the idea of vulnerability. Maybe succumbing to fear is a choice. Bravery is facing ones fear. Bravery in the face of danger, bravery in the face of vulnerability. It takes bravery to be willing to be vulnerable. To let others know how we are feeling. To give others the opportunity to hurt us emotionally. To be willing to face oneself and ones insecurities and inadequacies is quite scary.

I have always loved self-analysis. Thinking about why I do things and thinking about the characteristics that hold me in good stead, and those that cause me any problems. Of course with that I also love to think about others and why they do things that they do. Of course, they don't always appreciate my desire to analyze them.

In the article, Brown referenced Theodore Roosevelt who said, "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could ahve done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs (And) if he fails at least fails while daring greatly."

Which seems to imply a different type of vulnerability. The vulnerability of action. At school some of us have a joke about the wisdom of those that stay in their foxholes. By not poking their heads out, they reduce the opportunities to get in trouble.  It means that a small number of people end up doing most of the work (sponsoring organizations, taking on outside duties etc) because most people are busy NOT putting themselves out there.

I like the idea that I am in the arena. My face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. I do strive valiantly. I face my fears, I choose bravery and if I fail, at least I put myself out there. I am willing to be vulnerable with the people closest to me and I am willing to put myself out there in the world in front of others. Doing things.

1 comment:

  1. You are lovely and amazing. And by choosing bravery and being out in the arena, you're teaching your students to do the same. Ripple effect, baby!