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I recently watched the talk above by Brene Brown which was posted on the TED website. Have you heard of TED, its a great source of brain caffiene, hundreds of 10 – 25 min talks on alsmost every subject to get you thinking.
If you can’t see the version above try the youtube one here:
A few quotes worth mulling over:
“Connection is why we are here, the ability to be connected, it’s neurobiologically how we are wired”
“The thing that absolutely unravels connection is shame”
“The only people who don’t experience shame are those who have no capacity for for empathy and connection”
“The less you talk about [shame] the more you have it”
“Underpinning shame is “Im not good enough”
“In order to allow connection [relationship] to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen”
“People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging…Thats it, they believe they are worthy”
“The original meaning of the word Courage was “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”
“The courage is that these people have the courage to be [or acknowledge] imperfect.”
“As it turns our we can’t practice compassion with others, if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.”
“They fully embraced vulnerability…they didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable..they talked about it being necessary”
“The willingness to say “I Love you” first, the willingness to do something where there were no guarantees”
“Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but its also appears that its also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love”
“You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning.”
“Blame is described…a way to discharge pain and discomfort.”
So much of the above are the things that I think we as followers struggle with, sure we narrate the story a little differently, but we are not immune in anyway to the above.
Our acceptance of our need of Jesus is exactly the acceptance of imperfection, but as soon as we have finished with that moment of vulnerability, we create social christian spaces, churches, homegroups etc as places where we must perform, use the right words, look like we have it together. We end up buying into the same thing our society does, numb.
Next time someone opens up about their imperfection, resist the temptation to look down at your toes, hoping this moment of seeing the mirror of our own inner imperfection ends soon and we can believe we ‘have it all together’.
Interesting, isn’t it, that we neuro-biologically wired, by our creator for connection. Why do you think God filled the New Testament with guidance on how to treat other people, why after rightly order behind Loving God, to keep us from straight person-pleasing, God says Love others as yourself.
When we turn that around we also come to the realisation, the oppurtunity to love others, is, in turn, an oppurtunity to love ourselves.
Much of us spend our lives living with our pre-salvation identity of sinner, yes we sin, be we are no longer sinners, we are new creations. God loves us, God likes us, we must begin to love what God loves and like what God likes.
Look for ways to be open, share your brokeness, and thank Jesus he has given us a way to be made new in him, not just by patching up our brokeness.
Be willing to Love others first, knowing they could reject you, but knowing that we are, and will continue to be loved in Jesus.
Afternote: Thanks to Matt Hulst for the video, and to Roger Dell’Erba for turning round the second commandment for me here.