I was watching a Ted Talk today about Connectedness. Dr Brene Brown was talking about Vulnerability (brilliant – and the link to this at the bottom because it’s worth sharing!) and she said that we’re all here to connect. That’s the primary point of being us – to connect. Dr Gary Chapman, author of the Love Languages books says the same thing. We’re all saying it: Human beings need each other at some level, even if for some of us it’s less than for others. And connection through our vulnerabilities is the key to deeper connection.
Dr Brown said: In order to love wholeheartedly, we need to have courage, (to share from the heart), compassion, (and empathy, including for ourselves), and Connectivity. The ability and desire to connect. She says that in order to have these vital ingredients, we therefore need to be vulnerable.
This hit me like a sledgehammer. I sat up with a jolt, rewound the recording a little and re-watched that part. Vulnerabity is the key to connectedness. Sweet peanut butter on a stick! What does that mean exactly? It means we have to be willing to let other people really see who we are. For us to be authentic, and not hide behind who we want to be percieved as – but to actually be our real, unadorned, selves.
Deep breath… yes ok. I get that. But wow, a lot of thought has gone into that over the years, and yet still, I (and doubtless gazzilions of others on the planet) are pretty slow learners when it comes to this issue right? After all, I always equated this vulnerability shit with being weak, crying in front of someone, letting another human being see the dark side, or the scared side of this warrior princess. And then I thought about what my lover said to me recently. I had been all glammed up for a photo shoot ahead of my book launch, and he made the (kind) comment that I didn’t always look like that, and that that was absolutely fine with him. Wait a minute – really? You mean that? Yes!
When we start being with someone, we really don’t want to let them see the less than perfect parts of us. The sags, bags, morning faces, hair like medusa, the sleepy eyes, unmade up parts. The vixen sex goddess he takes to bed wakes up with her boobs hanging out of the spaghetti straps, hair extensions exposed, with dribble slightly obvious in the still half open snoring mouth, she opens her eyes and the mascara smudges look like someone hit her! OMG – yes that’s how the morning after a great night out can be. Sorry fellas – this is the real happy ever after story!
Authenticity – being who we really are!
What we tend to overlook until we all get older is that the real selves, our unmade up first thing in the morning look is what the people who love us the most see, with love. Not judgement. They see the beautiful insides laid bare, without being distracted by the packaging. This means that the times we may fall apart, retreat into a corner and curl up and cry are simply part of who we are – all of us. The vulnerability moments are actually what help us to open up and share more of ourselves to love.
Oh but jeez that’s hard! Seriously? Are you telling me that we have to show our not-pretty parts off in order to be loved whole-heartedly?
Well – according to Dr Brown we do.
But let’s break this down a little more. As we get older, we become aware of the tragedies in life. Friends, loved ones, even sadly, children, may be knocked down by disease, illness, accidents, and be less than perfect. Baby poop and toddler vomit…and even the puppy getting sick or popping in front of the robot vacum cleaner… eeewww! These prepare us a little for ‘real life’, but the older we get, the more we start to realise that at some point, we may have to either be the one relied on or the one relying on when the really big stuff happens.
I once read something along the lines of having to get friendly with farting in bed, because one day you may have to put up with a whole lot more than that on your true love journey!
And that my friends, is why we need to get over ourselves a little and be vulnerable. So that connecting over the rough stuff, and the good stuff is easier. We need to know how to talk about what brings us pleasure, but we also need to know how to cope with our own pain, and how to hold the space open for our loved ones’ pains too.
There is nothing more lonely than being in a relationship where the connection is tenuous at best. As those cords break apart slowly, we can suffer unimagined pain. Conversations, being compassionate and caring, and connecting through our vulnerabilities are what give us opportunities to connect deeper, with love. Wholehearted Love!
And being on the recieving end of Wholehearted Love – is only surpassed by being the one to give it back in equal measure.
Here’s to Horizontal Happiness in all it’s beautiful forms!
HERE’S the LINK…
Ted Talk – Featuring Dr Brene Brown on Vulnerability – well worth grabbing a cuppa and relaxing over this one – and keep your note pad handy! 🙂