a practice in vulnerability

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to reach out to others, to stay connected. In my last post, I realized that I often operate among the tension between wanting to be connected to others and carving time for myself. I think both are necessary for me but I often refuse the part of me that likes to be around people in favor of the part of me that is often.... afraid of what it means to need others, afraid to put myself out there, afraid to be vulnerable.

I struggle not just in asking for help, I'd like to think that when I need a favor or advice or to borrow a book, I'm good at asking. But a deeper kind of reaching out, the one that asks people to sit with me, to simply be around, to absorb my neuroses for the moment, that kind of help terrifies me and I don't listen to it and I push it aside. Instead I watch TV and call my mother or waste time on Facebook.

I recently watched Brene Brown's brilliant talk on the Price of Invulnerability; it's only about 15 minutes and absolutely worth every bit of your attention. What I love about her talk, and her work in general is that it brings together threads in ways that make me go, "yeah! of course!" It cuts through the bullshit and says look: here is what I've noticed, maybe now you can see it too and do something about it.

I watched this yesterday, the same day that The Declaration of YOU asked me to consider why I am awesome and to gather other's thoughts about why I am awesome, inspiring, and fun to be around. Both acts require me to be vulnerable.

My instinct was to either not do it or to couch the request in a kind of apologetic tone. But that is not what being vulnerable is about. So instead I will simply ask: why do you find me inspiring, unique, and/or awesome and I promise to reciprocate if you take the time to leave a response in the comments. Also, I think it would be great if you have people in your life that you find amazing and want to tell them so, or even better if you want to ask others why you're awesome, now is as good a time as easy to reach out.