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Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.

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Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences.

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When shame becomes a management style, engagement dies. When failure is not an option we can forget about learning, creativity and innovation.

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I’ve found that what makes children happy doesn’t always prepare them to be courageous. engaged adults.

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What we know matters but what we are matters more. Being rather than knowing requires showing up and letting ourselves be seen. It requires us to dare greatly, to be vulnerable. 

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I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.

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The opposite of scarcity is enough, or what I call Wholeheartedness.

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If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

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Love is uncertain. It’s incredibly risky. And loving someone leaves us emotionally exposed. Yes, it’s scary and yes, we’re open to being hurt, but can you imagine your life without loving or being loved?

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Empathy can be conveyed without speaking a word – it just takes looking into someone’s eyes and seeing yourself reflected back in an engaged way. 

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When we pretend that we can avoid vulnerability we engage in behaviors that are often inconsistent with who we want to be.

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Sharing appropriately, with boundaries, means sharing with people whom we’ve developed relationships that can bear the weight of our story. 

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Disengagement triggers shame and our greatest fears – the fears of being abandoned, unworthy, and unlovable. What can make this covert betrayal so much more dangerous than something like a lie or an affair is that we can’t point to the source of our pain – there is no event, no obvious evidence of brokenness. It can feel crazy – making. 

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I stayed  so busy that the truth of my hurting and my fear could never catch up. I looked brave on the outside and felt scared on the inside. 

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Sometimes our first and greatest dare is asking for support. 

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Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. 

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When we feel shame, we are most likely to protect ourselves by blaming something or someone, rationalizing our lapse, offering a disingenuous apology, or hiding out. 

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If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame cannot survive. 

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Self-compassion is also critically important, but because shame is a social concept – it happens between people – it also heals best between people. A social wound needs a social balm, and empathy is that balm. Self-compassion is a key because when we’re able to be gentle with ourselves in the midst of shame, we’re more likely to reach out, connect and experience empathy. 

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Our fight or flight strategies are effective for survival, not for reasoning or connection.  

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When we bury the story we forever stay the subject of the story. If we own the story we get to narrate the ending. 

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Empathy is connection, it’s a ladder out of the shame hole. 

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Your are only sick as your secrets.

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More Quotes by Brene Brown