I RECENTLY WATCHED two YouTube videos by Dr. Brene Brown that spoke to the Truth so clearly. She spoke from her heart and soul and her message resonated with the world. Her talk was about perfectionism and how it relates to our enculturated fear of vulnerability, and she shared her surprising personal journey as a hard-core scientist who deals with keeping everything in perfect order as her cover for her vulnerability.
I watched these two videos twice. By the end of one of them, I was tearing up — and I could see that she was tearing up as she spoke to her audience. What was so hilariously funny was that she shared with a friend what she had just said to 500 people. She said it was going to be on YouTube where 600 or 700 people might see it. She said, “I had no contingency plan for 4 million,” the number of people who saw her video.
Her messages are the heart and soul of what I’ve known and what I’ve been teaching all my life. Brene’s main point is that you can’t cut off the “negative” emotions without also cutting out the joy, vitality and creativity of life. She said, “You can’t selectively cut off emotion.”
My take on this is: It’s all energy. I can’t cut off one form of energy without cutting off the flow of the whole connection. Brene says, “Life is messy. We have to deal with all of it.” I agree. We have to feel our emotions. We have to make our way through it all.
The huge wake-up call I received from her message was about how I do not keep my house in order — and what that means to me. It’s my way of saying, “This is my little corner of the world and I don’t have to and don’t want to meet your expectations.”
Another huge part of her message was what she learned about the connections between shame, guilt, vulnerability — and joy and creativity and all the happy emotions. In our Western society, we taught invulnerability and perfectionism. Being invulnerable and perfect is the way we think we will be shielded from hurt and pain. Of course, it doesn’t work. It just closes us off from ourselves and others.
Brene’s messages also told me something about the underlying depression in a lot of these moments. Sometimes things pile up in our hearts and minds — and literally in our homes. I view that as not living in the present moment. I love when I’m in the present moment. I live there a lot of the time. My response to this wake-up call is to clean my house. I’m taking my stacks of recyclables to the recycling center. The energy I feel is hilarious. I’m not doing it for anyone else. I’m doing it for me. Perhaps more importantly, I’m not “not doing it” as a reaction to anyone else.
It’s more than a little weird that it’s taken me all this time to literally get to the bottom of this cycle, but I see it clearly now and I’m moving on it. I know more clarity and energy will come with this realization and with this Presence! I am grateful! I am awake!