Vulnerability. Here it is again!
I have read Brene Brown’s writing on vulnerability. I have found it helpful. Her writing and ideas have helped me take down some of the walls I have built to protect myself. Protection is fine. The problem comes that every time we build walls we isolate ourselves away from our communities. Prolonged isolation does not bring healing. Prolonged and unhealthy isolation feeds our fear and shame. Our walls become thicker, stronger and more impenetrable.
I get this. I am working on this. Every time I do, I find healing for myself. So, it would make sense that I would transfer the benefits of being individually vulnerable to the importance of my community sharing in being vulnerable together – right? Nope. I never made that jump…until listening to this podcast. When I heard Junot Diaz speak about vulnerability within community, it felt like a long drink of water on a hot day: refreshing and life-giving.
We build walls all the time. Walls around our people to protect us from those people; walls made of political affiliations, theologies, ideologies, class, education, skin color, language…..
How will we be community, church, or country unless we embrace vulnerability so that we can remove the barriers to authentic relationship.
Diaz listed acts of vulnerability to exercise and practice so that we will not only be together but be better together. Those practices are contemplation (slowing down), mourning (lament) and letting in complexity and subtlety (living with paradox). (parentheses mine)
Now I am pondering:
1. How will I be brave enough to practice those acts of vulnerability in my communities?
2. What skills do I have or need to sharpen so that I can encourage vulnerability in groups that I lead?
3. What changes do I imagine may come from increased vulnerability from me and with those around me?
This was just one idea in a podcast filled with hope and imagination of how we will survive and thrive together.
What did you hear that sparked your imagination?