The Freedom of Vulnerability

"Connection is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives... What we know is that connection is neuruobiologically how we're wired. It is what It is why we are here." Powerful words from research professor, Brene Brown, from the University of Houston. Her talk on The Power of Vulnerability provides the fodder for Wayne and Brad's discussion about the deep longing in the human heart real and meaningful connection and how shame undermines that desire. While she approaches it from a secular perspective, her observations confirm what Scripture tells us about our longing to know God and walk authentically with others. The freedom to present ourselves as imperfect beings and open ourselves to relationships, even if there is no guarantee that our attempts will be reciprocated, lies at the heart of forming real friendships. Of course, this vulnerability comes best when we find that we are loved by the Creator of the universe itself, without having to earn it.

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  1. Hey guys. “The freedom of vulnerability” ? Sounds like a rabbit trail to me that ends in a deep dark hole. Is shame what GOD uses to motivate HIS children? Hell no ! That’s what religion does! Our CREATOR has loved us into a relationship of equality with not only HIM but with others. To see ourselves as “vulnerable” takes away the freedom from consequence that JESUS has given us. To me, it’s impossible to separate true-love and true-freedom. Gman.

  2. More thought provoking discussion Wayne and Brad. First I relate to the person who had to stop her work-out b/c of being emotionally moved or overcome with some of the discussions. I have experienced the same reaction in some cases as our Father leads us to grow in Him and move from fear to trust. It’s amazing how two different people can hear the same thing but come away with two reactions! My “take away” from what you both were meaning is not that God uses shame to motivate us but rather that our shame is already there b/c of the fall and in His great love we can be vulnerable first with Him. learn the depths of His love for us and then we can live with others trusting our defence to Him. Foolish vulnerability is just that…stupid and foolish (like the man who keeps knocking at 3pm and we keep letting him in to beat us up) but when our Father “has our back” vulnerabililty and living in freedom becomes part of His life being lived out through us. This is greater freedom b/c we are no longer at the whims of other people but safe in His arms.

  3. Great discussion today, fellas! Very interesting take on the power of vulnerability, as well. Trying to be vulnerable within the construct of religion is like turning a pig loose in a pool of piranhas. It’s so hard to be real and transparent there. (Which is why I left there lonnnnnng ago….haha)
    By the way, you guys’ laughter is GREAT on this podcast! Don’t change a thing! Everybody’s a critic, or they love to hear their “scathing editorials” on what is wrong, or what THEY would do! Good grief, I wish they give it a rest, and just enjoy love and life! I swear some people act like they wear sandpaper underwear! Keep slingin’ guys! Peace!


  4. The evidence gathered by Brene Brown about the need for connection and vulnerability in all people, is such a great point of commonality to share with those who don’t know our loving Abba.

    It is wonderful to understand the freedom of being vulnerable and feeling worthy of love. I think that where Dr. Brown’s understanding falls short is that I know myself well enough that there is nothing that I do or am that makes me worthy of love. Without the wonder of Father’s grace, feeling worthy and valuable is like Saturday Night Live’s Stuart Smallley..”.I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” Deep down we know that we do not deserve love. We’re not good enough, smart enough, and there are plenty of people who don’t like me.

    It is the wonder and reality of Father’s deep affection and grace that give us an amazing worth, and gratefulness for His unfailing love. We have such a priveledge to share this amazing truth to a world that is starving for that affection, love, and affirmation.

  5. This was in my opinion the best ever podcast – pure gold. I used to be in relationship with a man who had no shame and yeah – he could not empathise with anybody or anything. He would commit amazing crimes against our love and never apologise and would just keep on stating that in his heart, where it mattered, he was all good – nothing bad could live in there where he was all good. He believed I was the bad one for even wanting anykind of apology, after all I was the christian girly all about love and forgiveness – he’d say. Got called a hypocrite many times and yet he wasn’t one he said because he didn’t run his life by the christian faith.

    Messed my head up really bad and I almost lost my mind, needless to say my heart is still a little fragile and we split up 3 years ago. He has started to read the Bible he tells me in a text message and says, “I am sorry about everything I ever done to you, you won’t believe it I have changed a lot.” I sent one back that said, “You broke me on your path to change rather than letting God break you. Apology accepted.”

    I just share this because I really understood what that lady meant about psychopaths and narcisstic people who have no sense of shame. For me personally when I break covenant with love I do feel shame and my natural instinct is to want to hide and I feel a sense of ‘unworthiness’, like I do not deserve any love in return, I need to suffer some kind of consequence if I myself am going to treat love like a toilet roll. That sense of shame lead to deep despair and then I met My Father and the gift of forgiveness in Christ. Such gratitude on my behalf and my stock of toilet paper dwindles less and less as I walk in the light of this magnificent wonder called His Love.

    For a long time I desired my ex to know this for himself yet I didn’t think it was possible – he was not going to heaven on the coat tails of Jesus, he was determined he had to pay for his own sin – if he had any to pay for. Last week we had a conversation, prior to his text, when he was talking all his philosophy about life. I said to him that people are afraid to come out of the dark and into the light because their deeds are evil – not that they are evil – yet it is this kind of thinking that can keep them in the dark. I said the lie we believe about God is that if we come out of the dark and face Him we think He is going to punish us because we rightly discern there must be a reckoning yet the lie is what ‘we’ believe about God. The truth is that when we actually come we find the most delightful thing – God doesn’t want to punish us, the wages of sin were settled on the cross. What we do find is God wants to give us a bath and put new clothes on us and maybe invite us to a feast.

    That night I came home and he sent me that text.

    I do get concerned when I hear people trying to remove shame like it is the problem, and instead try and tell people that shame is the lie and that truth is they are loved no matter what. The twist on truth here is so subtle in that line of thinking. Its like they don’t understand the blessing of shame and in thinking shame is the stumbling block the think tanks try to remove the very thing that might truly lead a person to the greatest truth ever – God wants to party with them – kill a beast and feast. Letting shame bring you to the cross is the only way and once you are on the other side you may find that God brought the cross to you.

    And if you are wondering why I am still having conversations with this ‘shame less’ man, he is my childrens father. Brought up in the catholic church in his childhood – head altar boy (who used to steal hundreds of dollars from the offering as he counted it) and got caught, 100 hail mary’s and he was good to go – sweet with God again. This is also why I spoke in the terminology I did because he understands ‘church’ talk.

    Anyway – I’ve had a long yak here – loved the podcast!!

  6. Wow, cosmic. I couldn’t sleep so I turned on one of many TED talks I’ve been saving until I had time to watch–guess who it was? Yep, Brene Brown. Then I turn on my podcatcher and the first podcast to download was this one. Methinks Father may be trying to get my attention on this topic.! đŸ˜‰ It’s great stuff.

    Thanks for being so timely and I’m sending up prayers for His will in the difficulties you two are walking through.

  7. My thoughts after this podcast are that vulnerability is a sign of a truly healthy relationship. Its you feeling safe and loved enough to show your insides to others..something so rare in this world where people are so closely guarded. I also think that the key that unlocks our vulnerability comes when God reveals to us just how vulnerable he made himself in his love to us..just to think that he came to earth to give us correct perception of him so we could have a quality relationship with him. The vengeful god we made out of old covenant experience had us dead to rights and would condemn and kill us in a second. He would never come down and make himself vulnerable to us. Seeing how vulnerable he made himself is the key to our own vulnerability. Thanks guys! Your conversation was a great jumping point for me in my thoughts and apprectation of God.

  8. I loved what you both had to say on this podcast. I personally found that I could take so much of BrenĂ© Brown’s research results and apply it to the situation of humanity and myself in particular. Part of my take away, from the viewpoint of a believer who recognized shame’s origins in sin and God’s solution to it was that we desperately need God to remove that shame in order to have those connections we so desire, both with him and with others.

    Thanks for another thought-provoking podcast!

  9. It’s amusing and sad both that this person and many others like her, thinks she has some amazing knowledge to impart through a fancy pedigree. I was shaking my head as I listened to her video. Vulnerability=connection with others=real relationship=peace and fulfillment? Wow. Basic human stuff she paid a lot to ‘learn.’

  10. I just listened to your podcast and then the 20 minute clip from Dr. Brown. Thank you very much! Another piece that God has put into my life puzzle. Thank you!

  11. I agree with vulnerability being the biggest stumbling block for EVERYONE! I believe it the reason why relationships fail whether they be romantic or other. There is a lack of vulnerability in man (by man, I mean humans) which I believe started at the fall of man. If you think about it… When man fell from Grace in the Garden of Eden, he immediately noticed he was naked because for the 1st time he felt shame and also hid which is the experiencing of fear. He then covered himself with leaves. Those leaves are symbols for the walls between us and God. You see man was never to have walls between II. And his creator. That’s why we are born naked without barrier. There’s a reason why God states that we have to have Faith like a child because a child is vulnerable. The child is able to communicate with God and has no problem. Don’t you ever wonder, how or why children come up with things some adults can’t come to terms with? Those walls are spiritual walls of fear and shame therefore makes un unconnected to God. Then we wonder why we can’t have (Joy, a fruit of the Holy Spirit) I thought she would have finished her thought of breakdown/spiritual awakening. As she was talking, it’s EXACTLY what I was hoping she would say because the truth is…. When you realize that the intimacy is the our soul craving and the root of all addiction…. You’ve just taken the 1st step towards salvation and all it’s benefits!

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