Brown started off as a social worker, and during that time, she realized that connection is the reason why we're all here. It gives us purpose and meaning to our loves. And so, she goes on and conducts a research study to understand this connection we have. But she ran into a problem that completely unraveled this connection we had. It was shame. It's easily understood as the the fear of disconnection, and as you can see, it's kind of problem for her research now.
Shame is a powerful emotion that we've all felt at some point. It's the feeling of "I'm not good enough." It's "I'm not blank enough," or "I'm not rich enough, smart enough, thin enough, beautiful enough, strong enough." It is everything we aren't enough of and the thing that causes all this vulnerability. And while Brown was still conducting her research she realized that the people who had a connection, who had courage and bravery, they all had something in common. They all fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful and they believed vulnerability was necessary. And Brown finally realized that we numb vulnerability; we live in a vulnerable world and one of the ways we deal with it is by numbing vulnerability. Humans don't selectively numb feelings. So when you're given shame, guilt, anger, sadness, and disappointment, you can numb it by eating your life away, or drinking your life away. But you can't numb those feelings, those emotions without numbing all the other emotions you have. We end up numbing joy, happiness, gratitude, and then we become miserable human beings with just a shell and we try to find a purpose or meaning of life and we become vulnerable.
One of the most interesting points I think Brown makes is that, we try to perfect our children. Every child is hardwired for struggle when they are brought into this world, But when you raise a child, you try to erase that from them, you want them to be perfect. Your job is not to say, "Look at them, they're perfect. My job is to keep them perfect, so that means they have to make the team, they have to make straight A's, they have to be accepted into an Ivy League school by the time middle school has ended." Your job is to show them that they're imperfect beings, but they're worthy of being loved and accepted. Brown ends her Talk with this, "Let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there's no guarantee."
This was one of the most interesting Talks I've watched, it really made me think about how I think about myself and others. From this talk, I learned to stop thinking about all the consequences involved with feeling whatever emotion I'm feeling. Because when I finally stop and say to myself, "I'm grateful for feeling this way," I feel vulnerable and alive and it's perfectly okay to feel that way. The day we start telling ourselves that we are enough instead of we aren't enough, is the day that we will stop belittling and screaming at ourselves and finally listen to ourselves. Not only will we be kinder and gentler to the people around us, but we'll be kinder and gentler to ourselves.
Brené Brown's Talk is truly inspirational and I'd recommend it to anyone. This is one of the few things that when you watch it, it'll change your life.