What’s your problem?: Vulnerability and me (June 22, 2022)

This week we are going to jump into Unlocking Us with Brene Brown. BUT FIRST let’s do a deep dive on Brene (BRUH-NAE) Brown from 2010 on Vulnerability:

The Power of Vulnerability | Brenè Brown (2010) TED

Brené Brown is an amazing individual who has labeled herself in a precise way in this video of “leaning into the discomfort” and the importance of connections in life. Our excruciating vulnerabilities to these connections can be summed up as “shame and fear.” The struggle we all deal with throughout life is our need and lack of worthiness within ourselves. To feel success in life is tied to this need to be worthy and acceptance of who we are wholeheartedly by those in our “community.”

Brown touches on two aspects of my life I don’t find vulnerability within myself. That courage doesn’t mean bravery — It means to be courageous within the confounds of ourselves, then to give that acceptance to others. That love must be rooted within us to be shown to others; even the ones we want to keep it from. My biggest vulnerability is connection with others based solely on poor social skills that lead to more misunderstandings; both by my own fault or clearly theirs. Constantly having to clarify with someone if what I think the underlying meaning really is “what it is” without being labeled for the misunderstanding as “rude,” “dense,” or “stupid.”

The episode I want to touch on is (June 25, 2020) Brene with Judd Apatow on Vulnerability and Laughter.

Apatow and Brown discuss his childhood struggles of his parents divorce and the effect it took on his relationships later in life. How comedy can help others connect our humanity and talk about societal taboo topics and even change the point of view of many by pointing out those of use who fill the mass under the bell curve. Apatow used those points of view to mold the man he is today. His parents showed their support similar to my own foster mom, Wilms. She went back to work to care for my sisters and I.

Just as Apatow, I was driven to gain fortune as a young child to contribute to the care of my large family (10+) and others who came and went. I was the listener of the group. Absorbing all of the “drama” a gaggle of teenage girls could create in a small town (not as small as I’m in now for sure). While dragging a 7 year old around like a lap dog because my vindictive sister had a guy scare me in pitch dark at 6 so I’d stay in bed at night. Years later I find out it was a ploy to get the guy kicked off our property and only scared me for 5 years.

Apatow’s IMDb page is wild and I’m glad to say I’ve been a fan for years. His “Freaks and Geeks” show gave me hope that I’d see others like me in more than stereotypical ROMCOM roles as the “love-lust best friend.” The 40 year old virgin was me in my early 30’s communicating the many different things I’ve never done as an adult; “you’ve never really lived!” I have so many experiences like that in life; where I missed the mark and I am taking my time to make up for those missed experiences. Apatow speaks of his experiences in life paving a road to his legacy now based on how he wanted to be treated and how others responded to those needs.

My biggest vulnerability is grief. I tend to find myself grieving in silence among others also experiencing the same type of loss I have experienced. I don’t fear death — just the image of those I love deeply seared into my memory and forever seen in a different light than the last smile I can remember. Saying goodbye isn’t hard in itself for me because “out of sight, out of mind”– its having experiences throughout my life and not being able to share the outcome with them that has me avoiding the topic; I’d rather leave questions unanswered than change the way my heart feels about them. They helped me at a time I didn’t want to continue the fight let alone a conversation.

“Shared Humanity” is brought up in the episode and it took my brain here:

“As far as I am concerned, we grow together, we struggle, we all become aware that our the inner child needs support — and that’s what your partner, chosen family, community — helps you through. We are the new parent to that inner child but we are not lost to accountability. We get that from those we surround yourself with. If you hold a friend accountable and they turn their back — they will not hold you accountable. They will turn their back and shame you. Get this straight, I’m here to shame myself. I’ve gotten very good about it — but I’m also that bitch.”

Mrs. Austin — Shared Humanity

I stick up for myself and most of the time I use my 6 foot Hawaiian ass to make that point clear; I am not going to just roll over anymore. I smile in the face of my enemies because I DON’T KNOW HOW TO READ THE ROOM. Y’all might call that confidence — I call that common sense. If you don’t hold yourself accountable, then who will? If your support doesn’t show you respect and hold you accountable then they aren’t here to grow, they are here to just reap what you are giving away willingly.

Just Rant Already — For all your graphic design needs

Don’t give that shit away for free. Don’t allow yourself to sit in shame towards yourself and believe those seeds of doubt, lies. “They are just having a bad day.” “They are going through shit!” Nope. This is why I’m considered guarded.

Those who are in my support system reap a big benefit of me always being there when they need me. My home is open. My heart. My phone at all hours of any day — as long as I’m awake. I give my all — if I’m already up — I got you but if I’m asleep — leave me alone until I’m up, thank you.

“Awkwardness is my middle name” was a personal dig I’d use when I’d find myself in an uncomfortable conversations with people who were belittling me for simply existing. It took going to college in my late 20’s to realize two things, 1) not everyone wants to learn and 2) 4 year olds and drunk 40 year olds respond to “no” the same way. By owning who we are externally during those triggering experiences, we grow. We learn what Mark Manson stated in Wise as F*ck that wisdom comes from others and books; not pre-programmed to do your math homework.

These vulnerable moments that trigger your worst must be communicated in a healthy way with those in your circle, tribe, community, family — whatever you choose to call it. Those people need to know your limits and respect them and be there to hold you accountable when you are hypocritical of others for your own list of dirty laundry. That type of person isn’t out here to grow — just take. Those are the toxic relationships I had to be honest with myself about weren’t healthy for anyone involved. Most of those have moved on and as anyone else can see, are happy.

Someone willing to do someone dirty to those who are already down — is the lowest of the low scum of society. Those willing to exploit others while down are just as disgusting. Someone who puts themselves in hard situations, calls others to pull them out — then boom, drama, bullshit no one asked for. My undiagnosed ADHD has me head first into “captain save a who this week,” then drowning in “how dare you’s” when I have absolutely not read the room and realized the person might have deserved it. I’m not the judge and jury.

Let me reiterate that I DO NOT want to be anyones judge or jury; I’m a bitch to myself and that’s good enough for everyone. My “Anxiety vs Reality” hasn’t always been wrong — when it has been, I have always been capable of apologizing for it. Hardly does it come natural to others, but I hate being wrong or speaking “fake news.” Apatow and Brown talk about the fear of reoccuring obstacles on the path to growth and our purpose. The fear of becoming our parents, or worse — the person everyone says I am.

My next worst vulernability has to be this new version of my unmasked life is worse than the person “they” believe I am and not the person I know I am — Welcome to Imposter Syndrome if you feel the same way. Anxiety has so many ugly faces but the internal damage done can be repaired. For example: 1) finally allowing myself to ignore the voices mimicking the horrible taunts I dealt with growing up. 2) Getting over the compliments being about my physical appearance — I AM BEAUTIFUL AS A WHOLE PERSON. I am worthy of all that I have and so are you.

I do recommend finding one of Brown’s podcast that speak to you and take a listen. Funny how just a few moments on validating yourself and your accomplishments, no matter how small to anyone else, is a step in to your purpose.

On to the next one…

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