Tag Archives: Brené Brown

cheers to the risk

Cheers to the Risk

“Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.”-Brené Brown

This past weekend I had the privilege of retreating with some ladies from my church. The whole premise of the retreat was to sit around a table, eat delicious foods, and tell stories of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we hope to go with Jesus. It was – hands down – my favorite women’s retreat I’ve ever been on.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit over the last few days about spiritual community – thoughts unfortunately spurned on by the great lack that most people seem to have. It seems as if so many of us that follow Jesus are trying to do it alone. Or, at bare minimum, we invite others into our lives to follow Him with one another, but it’s as if we’re walking on opposite sides of the road, unwilling to close the gap and truly journey together. There’s great risk in sharing our lives with people around us, and we’re too scared to take that step. So, instead, we do all the right things – Bible study, small group, women’s events, church clean-up days, dinner with a group of people once a month – we insert ourselves into all the right ‘communities’ thinking that at some point, magic will happen and we’ll be seen and known the way we desire. But here’s the catch – we won’t. We can show up and do all the right things and never get to the point where people know us – really know us.

We’re afraid of the vulnerability and risk it will take to really open our hearts up to others, trusting that the Lord has placed people in our lives to be God-with-flesh-on for us, to fill the intimate space of companionship that we all so desperately crave.

“We love seeing raw truth and openness in other people, but we’re afraid to let them see it in us. We’re afraid that our truth isn’t enough – that what we have to offer isn’t enough without the bells and whistles, without editing, and impressing.”-Brené Brown

For me, the space never even came CLOSE to being filled until I came to the end of my do-ing, and let myself just be.

Be seen.
Be known.
Be open.
Be vulnerable.
Be ready for grace.
Be ready for God to show up.

Be present with Jesus and not expect anything but Him.

And then, be present with people – offering our story of where we’ve been with Jesus, where we are with Jesus, and where we hope to go with Jesus.
Opening up our lives, risking the potential rejection, hurt, and isolation that may come with the weight our stories carry.
But the other thing we risk – the beautiful thing that we risk – is actually having someone receive our story.

Because once someone receives it, they are in it with you. They are now a part of your story. And you can’t walk away from that the same person.

It. Will. Change. You.

I think we all wait around for that type of pivotal plot point, eager to step into that sacred space. But few of us are willing to open up our souls, standing naked and unashamed before one another (metaphorically naked, that is. Keep your clothes on if we’re hanging out…)

I guess that’s my point. Take the risk. Raise your glass to the unknown, to that which should scare the pants off of you (but again…keep your pants on). You’re life will be filled to the brim if you do.

“The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time.”-Brené Brown

 

(sorry, not sorry for all the Brené Brown quotes. now, go read all her books and have your heart ripped out a little bit – in the best ways.)

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the tricky monster that will make or break us

sart

Tonight I’d like to take a slight right turn off of Singles Lane and spend some time driving down Relationship Ave.

(That’s code for tonight isn’t just about dating…it’s about all sorts of relationships with all sorts of people.)

I think there’s a really powerful monster that we all carry around in our back pockets on a daily basis. We can use it to deepen relationships, it can drive us to building really thick walls around our hearts, and – I believe – we can subtly use it to manipulate people to get what we want.

I’m talking about vulnerability.

Manipulation Station:

At one time in my life I had a ‘friend’ who asked me to coffee to try to get to know me better. This person was very sweet in their meaning, but once we got in to conversation they started getting a little more vulnerable with me (to a point) then pushed until I opened up with them. Looking back, they were totally in control of the conversation. They would open up and share some “dark” part of their story with the hopes that I would share something revealing about mine. And me, in my people pleasing ways, totally played in to it. I felt that the only way to get this person to either – 1) like me, or 2) leave me alone – was to spill some of the most private parts of my life.

I left that coffee shop feeling very uneasy and used.

Looking back, I truly feel as if I was manipulated into sharing things about myself I just wasn’t ready to share.

And if I think back hard enough, chances are I’ve done that with others. I’ve used fake vulnerability – or controlled confession – to get information from people with the motive of simply having that information.

Vulnerability shouldn’t be a tool used to get some news to gossip about. It’s much too precious to use in that way.

Brick Wall:

When being vulnerable leads to us being burned, the next natural phase is to build up some pretty thick walls in order to “guard our hearts”…or simply keep others out. Just like being manipulated, I think others can abuse our vulnerability with them causing us to distrust all people. If someone burns me, it just adds to my original assumption that I can’t open up to people in general.

In relationships this can cause a HUGE issue. If I’m not willing to take down my wall – even if it’s brick by brick – then I will get NO.WHERE. fast. I cannot grow in friendship, dating relationship, sibling-hood (is that a thing?), as a family member…basically, I can’t grow if all I’m ever doing is adding to the wall around my heart, keeping me from being vulnerable.

Vulnerability – or being burned by it – shouldn’t be an excuse to keep others out. It’s much too precious to use that way.

Deep Waters:

“Connection is why we’re here. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives. (And) in order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen. Really seen.” – Brené Brown

Brené isn’t a follower of Jesus. But I wholeheartedly agree with her.

Vulnerability, at it’s simplest definition, is allowing ourselves to be really seen. Deep connection occurs when we allow people to really see us. When we are truly vulnerable in the purest way.

Personally, outside of connection with Jesus, I’ve had this happen with a handful of people in my life.

And in those instances, when I have allowed myself to be really seen, it has transformed my relationships. It has opened my eyes to how life with others should work. It has challenged me to be a better sister, daughter, friend…person.

And allowing, above all, Jesus to really see me has made me more complete. It has healed the deepest parts of my soul. It has started to chip away at the bricks I’ve piled up around my heart. It has allowed greater love to well up inside me for others.

It has made me more human.

You have kept count of my tossing; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)

I love this verse. I love that God sees us. Really sees us. And we can trust Him with our vulnerability. We can let Him in and become more of our true selves.

And in turn, we can be more of our true selves with others and honestly connect. And maybe, just maybe, show Jesus to those around us by the way we love and connect with each other.

Take a few minutes to watch Brené Brown’s TED talk. Again, she isn’t a follower of Jesus, but what she says here is AWESOME!

Also, if you like what you read, would you share with someone you think might also like it?! Gracias.

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