Friday, March 25, 2011
I've written recently about parents who take planned breaks from caregiving as a means of respite and regeneration.
Today, a mom at Spirited Blessings posted about her own retreat, which included watching this video The Power of vulnerability. In it, University of Houston social worker Brene Brown talks about how her research into shame led to a surprising discovery: people who embrace their vulnerabilities believe they are worthy of love and belonging.
Among people who have a sense of worthiness -- as opposed to those who never feel 'good enough' -- she found these common attributes: they had the courage to be imperfect; they were kind to themselves, and then others; they were willing to let go of who they 'thought' they should be in order to be who they were; and they believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. Vulnerability was seen as a necessary way of life.
These findings, Brown says, were in stark contrast to her belief in the ability of science to 'control and predict.'
When talking about courage, Brown uses the original definition (when the word first came into the English language from the Latin word coeur): To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
People who believe they are worthy of connection she calls wholehearted.
I think this has interesting implications for how we view disability, which is a visible form of vulnerability.