Further to Brené Brown‘s exploration of vulnerability, as with many theories I was left wondering how her theory could be applied in everyday life. I wanted the 18 minute how-to video. But I know that this next video is one we each shoot for ourselves.
So what’s mine look like?
As a first step, I distilled her theory down to its essence (as I saw it through my lens). (It’s best to ensure you’ve watched the video to flesh out this summary).
- Desire for connection: that’s why we are here
- We’re taught if we can’t measure something, it doesn’t exist, invalidating intangibles
- The shame we experience is based in fear of disconnection: that we’re never good enough; “Who do you think you are?”
To try and avoid shame:
- We blame others, bad luck, fate, etc.: this a way to discharge pain and discomfort
- We numb out vulnerability: (but we cannot be selective about emotions, so we numb joy, gratitude, happiness)
- We try to make everything that is uncertain, certain
- We strive for perfection, and we try to make our children perfect
- We pretend that what we do doesn’t have an impact
Of course these strategies actually result in disconnection. To connect, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, to be vulnerable. Those people willing to do so Brown calls, “wholehearted,” asserting that these people feel worthwhile solely because they believe they are worthwhile.
So these wholehearted people who believe they are worthy, and as a result they feel worthy:
- Have courage; they tell the story of who they are with their whole heart: they have the courage to be imperfect
- Let themselves be seen, love with their whole hearts even though there is no guarantee of return, practice gratitude and joy, believe that they’re enough
- Recognize that connection is a result of authenticity; they let go of who they think they should be, to be who they are
- Have compassion: they are kind to themselves first, only then can they be kind to others
- Are willing to take emotional risks, are vulnerable, they let go of controlling
- Teach their children that they are worthy
As a next step, I created affirmations for the key points:
- I am worthy
- I tell the story of who I am with my whole heart
- I have the courage to be seen as imperfect
- I let myself be seen
- I love with my whole heart
- I am grateful
- I practice joy
- I am enough
- I let go of who I think I should be, to be who I am
- I am compassionate to myself
- I am compassionate to others
- I am willing to be vulnerable
- I let go of controlling
- I teach my children that they are worthy
To these I add some other affirmations that are meaningful to me.
Finally, as I go through my day, when I catch myself blaming, resenting, ruminating, shaming, etc., I stop myself, and see which of these affirmations come up for me.
Film at 11.
Here’s a note I received from James Latour, Program Developer at NMRC. In my opinion they are offering innovative and valuable services to both men and women.
Two weeks ago Nanaimo Men’s Resource Centre made the decision to cut staffing by 60%. This means a much lower standard of assistance to our clients and community, and we will have to cut some programs and services. This has come about due to a lack of funding.
You will be interested to know that last year the BC Ministry of Community Services funded women’s services $49.2 million. Men’s services received nothing. Here are some interesting statistics you might not be aware of:
A recent Statistics Canada report says:
1. “an estimated 7% of women and 6% of men in a current or previous spousal relationship encountered spousal violence during the five years up to and including 2004, according to a comprehensive new report on family violence…This means that an estimated 653,000 women and 546,000 men encountered some form of violence by a current or previous spouse or common-law partner.”
2. “11% of women and 7% of men aged 15 and older stated that they were stalked in a way that caused them to fear for their safety or the safety of someone close to them. This was the equivalent of 1.4 million women & just under one million men.”
3. “In cases of current relationships in which emotional abuse existed, 25% of women and 19% of men experienced violence.”
On Friday, April 6th at 10 am, Theo Boere, the Executive Director, and Anne Leavitt, one of our Board members, will be on the Bill Good Show (CKNW 980 AM [New Westminster/Vancouver]) to talk about this issue and the impact on Nanaimo Men’s Resource Centre. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT. We need you to call into the show while it’s in progress. You don’t necessarily need to speak on air, just tell the operator why you are calling and that you are in support of Nanaimo Men’s Resource Centre or funding for men’s services in general. This is an opportunity to make a significant difference with just one phone call!
These are the numbers for you to call:
604-280-9898 or 877-399-9898
Thank you for your ongoing support.
James Latour, Program Developer
Nanaimo Men’s Resource Centre
Working with the ManKind Project we are often approached by men looking for support, and although we can usually help to some degree, we sometimes refer men and women to other resources. For men (males 16 or older) in Victoria, Canada, who have experienced emotional, physical or sexual trauma the Men’s Trauma Centre offers Victim Support Services & Group and Individual Counselling. Clients may have suffered from abuse as a child, be a victim of crime, have been abused in relationship, or experienced some other traumatic event or events. Support staff have many years of experience in this field. They can contacted at (250) 381-6367 (general info or counselling) or (250) 381-0493 (Victim Services), or via email.
A little further up the Island, the Nanaimo Men’s Resource Centre offers a variety of services for men and women, to:
- provide support and referrals for men
- promote connections with partners and families
- promote community awareness regarding men and men’s issues
- help men with family court/divorce, seperation, custody and access issues
- support men in learning to communicate and enrich existing relationships.
The Nanaimo Men’s Resource Centre, as I posted about earlier, is also starting up the Dad’s Make a Difference program, working with families immediately after the birth of the children to instill connection and responsibility in both partners. This program is inspired by Gardner Wiseheart’s very successful program at Healthy Families San Angelo, begun about 12 years ago, which is now in many areas.
For men in the Cowichan Valley, the Cowichan Men’s Resource Centre in Duncan provides a place where men can connect with each other, find assistance in crisis, and access community resources. They can be reached at (250) 732-1471 or emailed for support or to volunteer.
I support these initiatives because they emphasize personal responsibility, healing, and fostering relationships rather than confrontation and blame.