I've been told I live with my heart, and that (some) others live with their heads. I've always known this was pretty accurate, but recently, I've really come to know what that means for me and truly accept myself for being that way - compassionate, empathetic, courageous and VULNERABLE.
It started with my sister-in-law telling me she admired my courage. I laughed and text back: what courage?
Later that night she messaged me an excerpt from Oprah's Super Soul Sunday interview with researcher Dr. Brene' Brown. Dr. Brown was explaining the word courage was translated from the Latin word cor, "heart", and initially meant "to speak one's mind by telling all one's heart." (Ahhhh!!) I saw myself, many times after a conversation with someone new, wondering why the hell I just gave them so much information (about myself), but yet I always do it again. Still, I keep only very few close friends and I think that is because I am truly empathetic, an "empath". Its simply over stimulating for me...I can't deal with other people's drama, excitement and sadness, because physically and emotionally, I FEEL it. Even movies and commercials...I experience the emotions. Yes, the Super Bowl Clydesdale commercial made me cry. LOL
So I watched this Brene' Brown and listened to her research on vulnerability, shame and living "wholeheartedly" (as she calls is). Living wholeheartedly contains the components of connections, compassion and courage, as well as vulnerability. She poses that vulnerability is all too often looked at as a weakness in our society, but that it must be embraced for us to live wholeheartedly and that it is the door to intimacy. As she explained the nature and concept of vulnerability garnered through her research, again, I saw myself through the years... Every moment that I had previously wondered, "WHY did I do, say, react that way" or beaten myself up over, shone brightly in my head like puzzle pieces gleaming in the air and then mesmerizingly fell into place. I saw, more clearly than ever, that my mom taught me to live that way, wholeheartedly, with compassion, courage and definitely vulnerability (although she'd probably deny the latter in an attempt to uphold her emotional barrier). I care for EVERYone and speak with an open heart without considering what others may think of me. I want people to know exactly who and how I am. I believe that is why I gush my business (loosely put) without thinking how people are going to react, and from their reaction, I know if I will become good friends with them, if they will be an acquaintance, or perhaps I want nothing more to do with them.
Today, I can clearly see, for one blessed as me to be born vulnerable, it is the only way I can live in joy and bliss. If I don't honor my vulnerability, life shifts out of balance and I become empty, hardened and useful to no one. I also believe that vulnerability is a necessary component to BEGIN a new relationship... it is the water in which we test connectivity with someone, that is why the beginnings are so good, so exciting! It takes an emotional risk, to be open and find that the other person loves us just the way we are and it feels good to have that open, honest connection.
If this information interests you, here is the material that provoked my bestest A-HA moment yet! I watched Brene' Brown on Super Soul Sunday (Oprah), her TEDtalk (good rundown) and I've also started one of her books, "The Gifts of Imperfection." She has some AMAZING stats.
With compassion and vulnerability,