“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” ~ Brene (Bren-nay) Brown ~

Hold on folks. This one could be a wild ride.

Depending on your point of view, vulnerability can be seen as weakness, submission, cowardliness or a point of incredible strength and confidence.  If you have an, “I will never fail” personality, you will see vulnerability in the first way.  If you are able to embrace failure as a waypoint on the path to fulfillment, a point to be learned from, you will see vulnerability in the second way.

Our ability to handle shame is what points us in either direction.  If you see shame like Lt.Dan in Forest Gump, you will hold your own inadequacies against yourself as though you are not worthy of other things because of past actions, guilts or misunderstandings.  You do not forgive yourself even though others may not care or even know.  You either overcome the shame by attempting to overpower it or you try to escape from it.  Overpowering yourself is a battle of two equals. Someone is going to get hurt and it will always be you. We have covered escape and its many geographical, liquid, emotional and pharmaceutical forms in other Lessons.

The vulnerable person sees shame in a different way.  It is something to be learned from, dealt with or given the true lesser weight it deserves, not allowing it to dominate and keep us from moving forward.

Think of the track runner who is out in front in the mile race in the National Championships.  They stumble and fall onto the track.  All hope of winning the race they should have won is gone.  They can either succumb to the shame of the moment and lay there or pick themselves up and finish the race.  They will be remembered as much for the act of going on as they would for winning that race.  If you have ever watched a televised Ironman Triathlon, you have seen the stories of those persons who overcame huge odds or adversity and finished this incredible test.  Many have stumbled or even crawled over the finish line. They were able to overcome maladies, appearance and self-doubt to attain their goal.

We all have shame in not being “enough,”; good enough, worthy enough, rich enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, loving enough or strong enough. It can be either now or from something in our past that we hold over ourselves. The variety is as vast as the creativity of your mind.

Are you able to humbly see yourself as worthy of the joy, love and success that is waiting for you if you can put your shame in its proper place in the past or replace it with affirmation now and into the future.

Life is not a Shakespearian play or an overly melodramatic television program. Put the drama and self-criticism aside and go about becoming a normal, vulnerable, fallible and worthy friend, coworker and family member.

Mike Ferrier

This is the 7th Anniversary Edition of Lessons For Life and we have never missed a week.  Thank you for your attention.

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