“Researcher storyteller” Brené Brown touches on some of my favourite topics in the TED talk link below.
Like many people still learning to feel comfortable with the idea that Darwin and the divine are not mutually exclusive, she had to dismantle her “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist” philosophy. When she wasn’t able to beat back vulnerability and uncertainty with her measuring stick, she had a breakdown/spiritual awakening. (Funny how often those two go together.)
Her research with people who lived wholeheartedly showed four common traits:
- Courage to be imperfect.
- Compassion for others and themselves
- Connections with others made possible because they did not try to be what they thought they should be but lived authentically
- Vulnerability and a willingness to do something with no guarantees even when it was uncomfortable.
When people did not live wholeheartedly, they numbed vulnerability through shopping, food, or addiction. They tried to make the uncertain certain.
She mentions religion. At their best, religious communities show courage, compassion, connection and vulnerability. At less than their best, they try to make the uncertainties of faith and mystery certain.
If you’ve never seen her talk before, I think you’ll find it inspirational. If you have seen it before, watch it again. I think you’ll find it inspirational.
“. . . never wait for science to give us permission to do the uncommon.” ~Dr. Joe Dispenza