30 Days of Brené Brown — Day 26: I feel like a football player on a hockey rink

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Welcome to Day 26 of “30 Days of Brené Brown!” — I’m starting to lose my mind!!

Here is today’s quote:

Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.
― Brené BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Is it me? Have I lost my mind?

I can’t help but feel that this is becoming the Department of Redundancy Department.

I wrote the other day about spirituality and connection when I was in the meditation circle in yoga and I couldn’t speak. My connection to everyone else was so strong I didn’t need words to express what I was feeling: safe.

So now, ‘staying vulnerable is a risk‘? Since when is Brown now speaking of vulnerability as a risk? I thought it was an asset. I thought it was courage. I thought it was laying it all out and letting our inner lights shine.

I’m all confused now. I feel like a football player on a hockey rink.

I’ve been at this Brené gig for almost 30 days straight. Granted, I’ve written some of these posts on top of each other for a couple days, and I’ve had to plan some of this, so maybe I’m more saturated than you guys are. I read her book over the summer and I was on board even before I read it.

Brown’s concepts were good and they were right and rich with redemption of our souls and spirits, but I have to agree with my friend who said she ends up putting down Brown’s books because she repeats herself so much.

It’s a lot lie Justin Bieber’s breakout song:

And I was like
Baby, baby, baby ooh
Like
Baby, baby, baby noo
Like
Baby, baby, baby ohh
I thought you’d always be mine (mine)
Baby, baby, baby ohh
Like
Baby, baby, baby noo
Like
Baby, baby, baby ohh
I thought you’d always be mine (mine)

Are you feeling it too?

So if I’m going to be a good sport about this, I’ll go there: that I’m fighting staying here in this discussion because I’m tired of feeling vulnerable; and that’s a risk I’m willing to take. OK, I’ll own it: I’m tired of feeling vulnerable. Am I disconnected from you all if I decide to do that, unplug from vulnerability and be tough, hard, strong and aloof?

Yes.

I have to admit it’s a little nice though to not worry about Being Seen so much and to Just Be instead. It’s a little exhausting to make sure you’re letting everyone know your guard is down and how narcissistic is that?? Narcissistic. That’s funny.

“Hi everyone! It’s me… Bipsy. I just thought I’d let you all know that I’m feeling really empathetic and emotionally available today so if anyone wants to let me know about their fears or resentments or shame I’m here to listen and to be your buddy and to let you know you’re safe and whatever you want to talk about is totally cool. No judging. Promise.”

Crickets?

I mean, it’s a nice proposal and I can see some of you fidgeting in your seats and looking around the linoleum-tiled room. The fluorescent lights are on, one in the back is flickering near the window in the corner with the crack in it. The walls in the room are yellowing, could it be from the nicotine stains from all the Bingo nights here or is it just because this old building could use some love?

A dog runs past the windows on the east wall and a little boy in shorts scurries past yelling, “Buster! Come back!” as people make furtive glances at one another.

Bipsy is looking around the room, eyes open, but not expectant and she smiles gently at a couple souls. An older woman chews on her lower lip and starts to open her pocketbook.

“So, um … I’ll just be in the lower school library room if you need me; it’s the third door on the right opposite the restrooms….”

And she gets up to leave.

Bipsy has made the first move.

This is how it has to go sometimes. We need to be reminded why we are where we are when we’re together. Sometimes it’s so much easier to think as we stand in line at the coffee shop that everyone has a different purpose for being there when nothing could be further from the truth: coffee. We all go to a coffee shop because we want a cup of coffee or something else available at that destination.

It’s not that the coffee at home stinks, but we must allow the fact that there’s something about going into that place to see those people and smell that smell and smile at that person and hear that music and be in that space: connection.

Writing is lonely. It’s really nothing you can do with other people, no matter what people think. You can have workshops and critiques and editing sessions and read-alongs, but everything you do, when you write is ALONE.

These posts have been absolutely fulfilling in an academic and intellectual sense for me. They have even resonated with my spirit when I write them and after I am finished; but it’s terribly lonely. So when I get a comment, I’m so grateful for the interaction otherwise I feel like I’m in a cave, whispering nothings to myself and the bats.

Will I miss them? Will I miss writing these posts? Yes and no. The time is nearing when Ms. Brown and I will bid adieu and I will be a little sad. I went through a small depression after the Jung series, but it didn’t last long because I had to ramp up for the yoga retreat. And then I went to the beach. And then I came home. And then Mom died. So then all I could do was write about my grief. Then I started to feel self-conscious, embarrassed and ashamed that all I did was write about my sadness. So then I tried some funny stuff and it was ok, but it felt forced. So then I gave up a little. But I love to write, so I decided to write another series. This one.

So here I am… making myself connect with you all through my writing, which is terribly is isolating. Will I write more about my mom and my stuff? Will I write more about my kids or myself? I have no idea. Truth be told, I’m feeling a little lost again. I don’t know what to write about next; I feel like without a mission, I have no point in writing publicly on this blog at least. No one pays me, so I spend a lot of time in here on my laptop doing all this without any real return…

So Brown is totally right: the way for me to connect is through showing my vulnerability; I will absolutely admit that it works. I feel connected. Even if no one ever replies.

Crickets?

But this is the way of a writer who blogs on the internet. We are a dime a million. It’s a choice I make. Is it a risk? I guess so; it’s time I will never get back; but I enjoy it enough. It challenges me and it keeps me from doing laundry. I have yet to suffer any serious, growth-neutral or growth-negative repercussions, so that’s good.

Hmph! This post ended up being better than I thought it would. (For me anyhow.)

Was it good for you?

Thank you.

One response »

  1. You write what your heart feels, that is what is making you vulnerable. The more you become open and you are connecting with yourself the more you are coming from your authentic self, especially with grief and this series also. It becomes a highly vulnerable and lonely place, our heart. As you move ahead you won’t feel lost and lonely you are really getting in touch with yourself at a deeper level, just my opinion. It is beautiful to read how you are evolving and shifting.

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