When a Clinical Psychologist recommends you a book, you better be prepared for your world to wreck open.
Hazel introduced me to this book “Daring greatly” by Brene Brown and honestly speaking, it wasn’t an easy read. Almost every sentence speaks of something that I refuse to acknowledge, or at least was trying to ignore.
I’ve also been trying to put this off, not wanting to go through the book again and deceiving myself that I actually have nothing concrete to share from this book. But as I forced myself to go through those pages again, I realised, there’s a lot in my mind.
So let’s get started.
“Connection is why we’re here. We are hard-wired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”
I think in this context, "connection" can loosely be translated or understood as "relationship". Something that I hate and avoid the most. I always believed that if relationships is a subject, I’ll definitely fail in it. I never know how to cultivate or maintain relationships. Most of the time I feel awkward, ashamed and fearful.
“Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the corner, the centre, of meaningful human experience.”
Oyan once said that I can tell easily when I’m not being myself because I am too comfortable being myself. She said that’s the reason why I get cranky and frustrated when situations demand me to pretend to be someone else. But I am at this very awkward position where I want to be myself and show the world who I really am but yet at the same time also very afraid that I am not good enough, or even perfect enough because so many people have commented on my behaviour and my actions just because mine are different and so much so it hit my core and fear took over. I choose to be aside instead of being a part.
“Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness: facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, knowing that I am enough.”
Because I took those reactions as an evaluation of my value as a human, I dare not risks and played it safe. If no one knows me truly, they couldn’t evaluate me. But that is not how we live life. I know I shouldn’t be reminiscing the past, but I’ve experienced the true freedom of being myself, living wholeheartedly without hanging my value on people’s opinion when I was still working in an NGO. I had that courage to be vulnerable and to be seen as who I am because I didn’t give a damn about what other thinks about me. Even they disapprove of me or disagree with me, I know my value and I knew I was enough. I wasn’t afraid to be seen in my nakedness and imperfection. I had a taste of what it is like to live wholeheartedly.
“Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feeling. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotion life out of a fear that the cost will be to high is to walk away from the very things that gives purpose and meaning to living.”
One of my favourite words is "paradox". Because I believe this word describes perfectly about life. We are so afraid of getting hurt by being out there as ourselves and get “killed” so we hide thinking that it will keep us alive. But ironically the act of trying to save ourselves is what truly killing us inside.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
After reading the book, I couldn’t help but wondered if our society today have replaced this sort of courage with adventures such as sky-diving and etc. The pure thrill of being afraid and conquering our own fear of jumping out of a plane makes us so alive. And I wonder if we are able to be vulnerable and let ourselves be seen, do we still need those adventures just to feel alive?
“Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen.”
This is one prayer I’ll pray every day for the rest of my life.
To be continued...