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“Shame is universal.  We all know that feeling:  “I am not enough.  I’m not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful  enough, smart enough.”  And shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection:  Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, I won’t be worthy of connection?

There is only one variable that separates the people who have a strong send of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it.  And that is, the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging .  That’s it.  They believe they’re worthy.

The other thing that they have in common is this:  They fully embrace vulnerability.  They talked about the willingness to say, “I love you” first, the willingness to do something where thee are no guarantees.  They thought this was fundamental.

We live in a vulnerable world, and one of the ways we deal with it is we numb vulnerability.  But you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can’t say, here’s the bad stuff — here’s vulnerability, here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s fear, here’s disappointment.  I don’t want to feel these.

So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness.  And then we are miserable, and we are looking for pupose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable.  And it becomes this dangerous cycle.”

But there’s another way.  To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee; to believe that we’re enough.  Because when we work from a place that says, “I’m enough,” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us and we’re kinder and gentle to ourselves.”   Brene Brown

Watch the full talk here »

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