This post was inspired/stolen from one of our favorite authors, Donald Miller, who recently blogged about it here. I think you’ll like the video!
We’ve always been fans of TED Talks, not to mention sociology and psychology, and this talk seemed to fit especially well with the Christmas season because it’s about connection to others. When I saw it on Donald Miller’s blog, I decided to watch it because I know I have my own struggles with vulnerability and connection.
My husband has been a great example of vulnerability to me. For some reason, he has learned how to be quick to admit when he’s wrong, to face his weaknesses so that he can grow from them, and to put himself out there emotionally. I’m always in awe when he does those things and I feel convicted by his example. Vulnerability has been quite the journey for me, but I’ve come to know how incredibly important it is in order to experience love, to start to become all that I was created to be, and to be able to reach out to others. When I have to admit that I’m wrong to Jedd, there is- still- almost always a moment of hesitation. But if marriage has taught me anything, it’s that vulnerability is necessary. And life has also taught me that there is powerful forgiveness in being vulnerable. After what I would consider the worst thing I’ve ever done, when I would have rather locked up the memory and thrown away the key, God somehow gave me the courage to confess to those who would be concerned. That leap of faith didn’t land me in a black hole, as I had imagined, I came out the other side miraculously forgiven and eventually stronger. I look back on times like that when I was able to be vulnerable and let people see the worst of me, and it proves to me that I can do it again. Since then, I’ve learned how to do things like cry in front of my boss, talk to a pre-marital/marriage counselor, and share my whole life with my husband. But, of course, I still have a long way to go.
It reminds me of a quote I heard in church this year. It comes from a Sister who works on death row, and she says: “The dignity of the human person means that every human being is worth more than the worst thing they’ve ever done.” It doesn’t matter how deep of a pit we dig ourselves into, God can reach down even further. We can’t ever go so far as to lose our worthiness to God because He doesn’t base our worthiness on what we have or haven’t done (that’s where His Son comes in, in case you’re wondering). Brene Brown in the TED Talk says that those who struggle for love and belonging do not believe they are worthy, while those who experience love and belonging accept their imperfections and are willing to be vulnerable. She also says that connection is hardwired into our biology; it is the driving force of our personality. God created us to need each other and also to need Him. Being vulnerable is key to strengthening our connections with others and with God. It may never be easy, but I have to remind myself that it will always be worth it.