~ Brene Brown
I had never heard of Brene Brown until this past Monday when I saw a link to her TED talk on Facebook. I am a fan of TED talks, so I instantly clicked on the link and sat there, mesmerized, soaking up ever morsel of her funny, brilliant, engaging speech. (I promise, I’ll give you the link at the bottom… )
Three days later, I am still ruminating over the words that Brene spoke so eloquently.
She speaks about shame. She speaks about feeling unworthy. She speaks in the most heartfelt way about vulnerability and empathy, courage and compassion and our deep inborn need for human connection.
And she explains why and how we manage to muddle the process of keeping ourselves separated from that deep inner need by our inability to risk being open and vulnerable with each other. By our fear of sharing our truths with each other. By our deep societal fear of shame and judgement that we place on each other, and perhaps even worse…in fact, I believe, most decidedly worse, the shame and judgement we place on ourselves.
I don’t think there is a friend or foe on the planet that is crueler than we are to our own selves.
“It is Our Imperfection That Connects Us to Each Other.” – Brene Brown
When we judge ourselves and others for being less than perfect, or for not upholding these impossibly high standards that we have all come to expect from the media and from the chatter that we all perpetuate, we build the walls brick by brick that close us off to the connections that we crave.
When we pretend we are doing great,when our perfect curb appeal hides the demons that lurk within the doors,when we are too ashamed to cry out for help, to turn to our neighbors and friends- the very ones who are likely suffering in silence themselves- we dig the holes of desperation and loneliness to unbearable depths, convincing ourselves that it is only us…everyone else is doing great and we alone are the only ones who can’t keep the pace, stay on track or handle the rules that society demands.
I want to call a spade a spade. I don’t care who you are. I’m going to let the cat out of the bag. As a past successful Realtor, I’ve been in your houses, I know what lurks behind those perfect looking curbs. In all my busy years of selling of houses, some extremely expensive ones, there was never ONE SINGLE TIME that I walked into a house and decreed it to be PERFECT. There was always a checklist, always something to do, some things to fix up, some stuff they had never gotten around to, some things that had been on the list, bugging them for years. Sometimes the list was long, sometimes it was short, but there was always a list.
And that is just the way life is. It isn’t just our houses. It’s our lives. The more we can just understand that everyone has a list, the more we can relax, shrug our shoulders and say…oh well… so, I’ve got my list and you have yours. Big deal, so what who cares, let’s go out and get on with life and have some fun.
The Beauty Of Sharing Lists.
Our lists may be different. That’s ok. The stuff on my lifelist that I need to fix up and work on is different that yours. But by comparing our lists instead of hiding them in the closet of shame, I may find out that you figured out a solution for something on my list ages ago. By tag teaming my issue, I might actually get ahead. And if not, just having someone to bounce ideas off of, and not feeling so hopeless and all alone does wonders for making my failure list not seem quite like the monster it did before.
Connections and community have been our number one survival tool since the cave days. For us to isolate ourselves by pretending that we have it all figured out by our own lonely perfect selves is, in my mind, one definition of society’s sad insanity.
So…are we willing to bare our naked imperfections together and get closer? I think I have blabbed every flaw I have across cyberspace…but if there is anything you all don’t know about me by now, just ask…I’m pretty much an open book…but…how can I help you?