Inviting Connectedness

Videos: From talking about vulnerability and shame to creating opportunities for young men of color

This series of videos, mostly TED Talks, traces one of the mental trajectories that I keep criss-crossing through lately while drawing a constellation of intuitive connections.  For me, the underlying topic is about recognizing goodness — recognizing your own goodness and recognizing the goodness of everyone you encounter.  Without that recognition, all we have is fear and shame. With that recognition, we can achieve great things in the face of today’s challenges — inequality, disconnectedness, crises of authority, isolation, etc.

It started with a conversation about vulnerability, which prompted a friend of mine to send me a link to this talk from 2010.

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

Then I checked out Brene Brown’s follow-up talk from two years later.

Brené Brown: Listening to shame

Brown brings up a lot about shame, self-worthiness and their connection to vulnerability.  That spurred a bunch of conversations about attachment theory and the role of self worth in one’s ability to recover from, or even risk, rejection or failure.  Since attachment theory is rooted in studies about parental love, this led to Andrew Solomon’s talk about unconditional love:

Andrew Solomon: Love, no matter what

From there, we can start talking about the hard stuff, like what prevents us from seeing other people’s goodness and worthiness of connection. Vernā Myers does a great job of opening the door to re-programming some of those habits.

Vernā Myers: How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them

Our comfort with Vulnerability is directly connected to the level of shame that we feel.  Shame can be worded “I’m sorry I am that bad thing.” as opposed to guilt, which can be worded “I’m sorry I did that bad thing”.  That means recognition of your own goodness — recognizing that you are not bad/unworthy — is the opposite of shame; to believe that you are good and worthy of connection is to be unfettered by shame. All of us stand to benefit profoundly from recognizing that goodness.  Our ability (or inability) to recognize and relate with it is often tied to habits we learned from our parents, but it also comes from much broader social conditions.  We all get countless signals from the world that label us as incomplete and not good enough, but (here’s the final leap) young men of color get it way worse than most.  Hence, President Barack Obama’s Speech at the launch of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

I bet you’ll hear his words differently after listening to those other talks.

If you can’t get enough, here are two related playlists of TED talks.

Musings & Adventures, Random

Poem: Each from Different Heights

That time I thought I was in love and calmly said so
was not much different from the time I was truly in love
and slept poorly and spoke out loud to the wall
and discovered the hidden genius of my hands.

And the times I felt less in love, less than someone,
were, to be honest, not so different either.
Each was ridiculous in its own way and each was tender, yes,
sometimes even the false is tender.

I am astounded by the various kisses we’re capable of.
Each from different heights diminished, which is simply the law.
And the big bruise from the longer fall looked perfectly white in a few years.
That astounded me most of all.

– Stephen Dunn

[quoted by Millie Getachew in an email conversation about love and beauty on March 5, 2008]

Daily Reason to Dance

daily reason to dance: You Can’t Hurry Love

You Can’t Hurry Love
The Supremes

Grooveshark | Amazon

How long must I wait

How much more can I take

Before loneliness will cause my heart

Heart to break?

No I can’t bear to live my life along

I grow impatient for a love to call my own

But when I feel that I, I can’t go on

These precious words keeps me hangin on

I remember mama said:

You can’t hurry love

No, you just have to wait

She said love don’t come easy

It’s a game of give and take

You can’t hurry love

No, you just have to wait

She said trust, give it time

No matter how long it takes

Recognize the opening riff? They dropped it into the Motown Single Ladies.