I was introduced to vulnerability as a formal pursuit by Brene Brown.
Brene and I are best friends. Our first date was in the pages of her book Daring Greatly, where she deftly struck down the idea of needing walls to keep safe from the world around me. As a life-long introvert with trauma, this seemed like crazy-talk, but I let her ramble on for another 300 pages or so to be polite. Then I bought her next book. And her next. And watched her TEDtalk. Then we got married. It is a seriously odd relationship we have. I joke with my friends that I wish I could shrink her down and have a pocket Brene that would whisper sweet nothings in my ear of encouragement. (Along with Glennon Melton, but that’s for another entry.)
I have to admit, the relationship between Brene and I isn’t smooth. Though I’ve worn out many a highlighter with the great things she placed in that book, I also dropped several curse words in the margins when she was less than polite with her insipid truth-telling.
As I dove further into her works and we started going steady, I realized that I had a strong craving for deeper in my life with those around me. Luckily for me, Dr. Brene had just the prescription for that. Connection. Somewhere within the pages of Rising Strong and Gifts of Imperfection, I developed a serious problem, a dissatisfaction with the quality and depth of the relationships that I had with those around me.
It’s not you. It’s me. Really.
Brene’s reckless use of haphazard and fancy-free authenticity is scary. Her passion for courage infectious, it requires such openness and (you guessed it) vulnerability. It is scary, but something about it is so appealing. What if, you could own your own story, walk in your own truth, set firm boundaries in your life, and boldly go forth into a new place and season of vulnerability?
Slowly, and unintentionally, The Vulnerability Project was born. I’m nervous and unsure. However, despite all the unknowns, I’m excited. Over the next (who knows how long!) I will be deliberately seeking out opportunities, events, conversations and situations to be vulnerable. Then, writing about those experiences with the hopes that it will not only help me develop those experiences into a rich tapestry for my own personal growth but also hopefully help others. I can’t wait to see what this journey holds!