“… vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.” Brenee Brown
I was introduced to Brenee Brown and her TEDtalk on vulnerability a few years back….from a counselor actually. And to my surprise, her name came up again in a sermon my Pastor was preaching and he too was introduced to her by a counselor. Kindred spirits maybe? Either that or a prerequisite to being a counselor is to listen or read her material.
How many of us would benefit from being more vulnerable in our relationships…both personal and professional?
When I think of vulnerability, I also think of her friends, secret and shame and even her friend of a friend, fear. The inability to be vulnerable typical stems from information you may be withholding…a secret that you don’t want exposed, something that may bring you, your family or other innocent bystanders’ shame. You hold on to whatever it is so tightly that it actually produces the opposite effect of what one would expect.
Fear is usually lurking somewhere in the background of all of this. A fear of being found out or maybe a fear of being rejected by others. So in our angst to avoid the exposure or the uncomfortable feeling that comes along with being vulnerable we instead create disconnection rather than closer, healthier relationships.
“Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
These uncomfortable feelings have an end date. We are so busy ducking and diving and hiding but not seeking that we end up missing out on some great opportunities to grow, relate, understand and simply be human.
We subconsciously jump from the frying pan into the fire. We move further from our intended end goal of closer connections and relationships and never stop to figure out why.
We endure self-inflicted pain and bondage versus the freedom God desires for us.
Secrets can ruin relationships. And the enemy knows that. He would like nothing more than to divide a marriage, a friendship and a family. We’re stronger together and more susceptible to his tricks when we’re apart. So he will use that one thing to bring about separation and use it as a curse when it was designed to be a blessing.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
So, I love the movie “Peeples”. It is absolutely hilarious. Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier and Craig Robinson are a few of the stars in this movie.
The family in this movie has its fair share of secrets. It didn’t destroy the family but it could have. The family was pretty much held hostage by the pride of the father.
Pride…another friend of vulnerability…this chick is popular! But definitely not the friend you want…it can lead the further disconnection in relationships.
And had the father not decided to “unfriend” his pride the story could have ended differently. Something to think of in our own lives. How many times have we allowed pride to further bury a secret and once it was finally revealed or dug up it blew up in our face? To leave everyone exposed, hurt and possibly even betrayed.
So the major theme of the movie was surrounding secrets. There was actually a cute little song that went along with this theme…”Speak it, don’t leak it”. You wanna hear it? Here it go!
Speak it, don’t leak it
Don’t keep your feelings secret
Say it, don’t spray it
That’s how the big kids play it
Don’t repress it, express it
They ain’t no crime in confessing
When you’re dealing with your feelings, you would rather be concealing…
So if you thinking about that #1
There ain’t no curing in that urine
Speak it, don’t leak it!
Cute, huh? Aside from the “explicit lyric”. Haha…
But I say all that to say, true freedom is found in vulnerability. Nothing good can come from the inability to be vulnerable due to secrets, shame, fear or pride. I’ve seen this play out in my life, relationships and even career. My own insecurities set me back and I am now trying to make up for lost time. But thankfully, God is a redeemer of time. God can do in seconds what would typically take years. Let Him!
Lay it at His feet today and watch Him allow you to prosper just as your soul prospers.
Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!