I have been consuming her content in all forms. Print, audio, video, blog. Brene Brown is a phenomenal researcher, speaker, social worker, author and all around wonderful human being. Her work on shame has been instrumental in helping me take a second look at my feelings of shame regarding the abuse I endured during my marriage. It’s a feeling that sometimes causes me feel reluctant, less inclined to open up. Shame silences me from telling my story, sometimes. But I keep pressing on.
To be an agent of change you have to be prepared to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is how people will resonate and connect with you. You have to put yourself out there, tell your story, be authentic and be prepared to cry, hurt, feel angry and question why did you open up pieces of your self and life to the world. But also be prepared for support from unlikely sources and encouragement just when you need it.
Opening up can open you up to criticism, too. In a culture where people get quiet on topics of abuse and violence against women, my motive for sharing has questioned and angered some. One nasty anonymous emailer even said this site is all about hurting my ex. We already know that shame can keep you bound but when you throw in some criticism, you can shut right down. I choose to forge ahead anyways. On criticism Brown says
…… we must “reserve a seat” for the critics and our own self-doubt. “Tell them, I see you, I hear you, but I’m going to do this anyway.”
So yeah. I’m going to keep doing this. Writing, sharing and hopefully, empowering. My story is bigger than me. The programs that have been birthed from my experience isn’t only impacting the lives of other women, it makes me see that with the right attitude and mindset we can create something beautiful from painful experiences.
Here’s a video of Brown on vulnerability and shame. I’m convinced it will cause you to look at things differently. My message to you – don’t let shame silence you and become an embodiment of who you are. By opting to be vulnerable, forging ahead in spite of the shame or discomfort you reach, connect and resonate with others.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.