Wholeheartedness, Vulnerability and such other emotional matters
Ted Talks is probably THE coolest movement / initiative I have come across in many months. I watched one video – I think it was Kiran Bedi’s talk that I stumbled upon and then just downloaded episodes after episodes like a madwoman. This is a forum which invites contemporary thought leaders from various fields to talk about their work – and within 18 minutes. These talks are usually sprinkled with anecdotes and humor. And from various fields too – microbiology, space technology, mathematics, psychology, sociology, music, you name it! There are more than 800 such talks and so far I have watched about 10 of them. Of which, I particularly liked Maz Jobrani’s stand up comedy about anti-Muslim sentiment in the Western world , Jason Fried’s ‘Why work doesnt happen at work ‘ (I LOVED this) , Salman Khan’s (not the actor of course) talk on reinventing education …. and R A Mashelkar’s talk on low cost innovations in India
Today, I watched Brene Brown’s ted talk on the power of vulnerability .
I loved it! She is a seasoned speaker and her self deprecating humour is refreshing. She concluded in nutshell, through in depth research that while all of us strive to belong / to connect, the only ones that can feel the connection are the ones who live wholeheartedly. Wholeheartedly meant accepting who you are and then making attempts to let others see who you really are. It also meant taking that first step, making yourself vulnerable by investing emotionally in people, situations, actions when the end result may or may not be favourable / reciprocated in kind with the action. The people who CAN do so are the ones who have a sense of self-worth and that such people are the ones who can empathise and hence, CAN make themselves vulnerable in front of the world….in a nutshell, I believe this means wearing your heart on your sleeve and experiencing the highs and lows that come with it.
Deep down, I believe this. Probably experiencing every emotion in fullest sense must involve making yourself vulnerable to a thought / an action in relation to other people / events etc. That if you numb your fears and pains so that you are less vulnerable to any external impact (others’ thoughts/actions/external event etc). But then, the joys and the highs that you experience will also have a ceiling…since you never really allowed yourself to plunge low, you never bounced very high… in a way, this controlled response can lead to emotional isolation – being unable to experience life fully…living only in pieces…
On the other hand, I believe, there is nothing more difficult than letting go …of oneself, one’s ego and letting others in, all the while knowing that they may shun you even after that. While you made yourself transparent, it might or might not have been that convincing/ engaging or even beneficial for the others. Still, I would almost call it ‘giving’ – emotional investment without expecting anything in return….. I can think of only 2 such individuals in my life – my parents. And I think most of us would be able to think of our parents in such all-giving mode. I believe that as parents, that sense of connect/ belonging is already nature-given. That we BELONG to them and that is why they can love us wholeheartedly, without expecting anything in return…
While I am yet to read further on Brene Brown’s study and conclusions, I believe that she has presented through her data, what the poets had been saying since the aeons.