Vulnerability Hangover

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt

I suffer from a vulnerability hangover most times I'm creative. It's a sucky feeling on par with realizing I've shown up at school with no clothes on, which has never happened in my waking life, but I imagine is similar to the shame of peeing one's pants (or culottes while wearing roller skates in gym class, in my case). But the more hangovers I have, the better. It means I've expressed myself. I've cared about something. I've shared a part of myself. 

I was on a TED TALK binge last year when I was couped up post surgery. I was feeling immensely vulnerable, having just been cut open and having a tumor scooped out, and Brene Brown's TEDxHouston Talk about Vulnerability stuck with me. 

Here is Brene Brown's new TED 2012 Talk about Shame. It makes my heart swell. It's like an Advil for my vulnerability hangover. 



Shame drives two big tapes: "Never good enough" and if you can talk it out of that one, then, "Who do you think you are?" 

Shame for women is this web of unattainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we are supposed to be. And it's a straightjacket. 

Empathy is the antidote to shame...The two most powerful words when we're in struggle..."Me too."