Something about where I was heading with this series of posts on fear felt off, but I just couldn't figure it out ... Then I picked up Brené Brown's book Daring Greatly and got into Chapter 2: "Debunking the Vulnerability Myths."
Through her research, Brené defines vulnerability as "uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure." She writes that "[v]ulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings." When asked what vulnerability feels like, one research subject answered, "It feels like fear, every single time."
Vulnerability is deeper than fear.
Vulnerability is the root of fear.
In last week's Learn: Understand Fear post, I listed a slew of "non-life-threatening" fears that I identified as inner-voice jabs at my heart's truth. Now, after contemplating the feeling beyond fear that my list elicits, I recognize vulnerability as clear as a bell.
In last week's post, I tried to neutralize fear by labeling it "fear" rather than "bad" or "good." In her book, though, Brené calls fear a "dark emotion." She goes on to describe vulnerability, on the other hand, as the source of desirable emotions and qualities that include love, hope, belonging, joy, empathy, courage, accountability, creativity and authenticity.
Let's let this reframed idea of fear-as-vulnerability simmer. How does it feel to dig deeper into fear and discover vulnerability? What happens when we meet vulnerability and ask our tender hearts, "What do you need to feel courageous?" Share your thoughts here on the blog, on Facebook at our community page, or connect with me via twitter.