Connection Is Why We’re Here – 9 quotes from Brene Brown’s book – Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead  

by Mark Votava

81-qH1O69UL (1)1. Lose our willingness to be vulnerable

“When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable. If we dismiss all the criticism, we lose out on important feedback, but if we subject ourselves to the hatefulness, our spirits get crushed. It’s a tightrope, shame resilience is the balance bar, and the safety net below is the one or two people in our lives who can help us reality-check the criticism and cynicism.”

2. Hope is learned

“Hope is learned!”

3. Connection is why we’re here

“Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives…”

4. Our armor and our masks

“Whether we’re fourteen or fifty-four, our armor and our masks are as individualized and unique as the personal vulnerability, discomfort, and pain we’re trying to minimize. That’s why I was surprised to discover that we all share a small array of common protection mechanisms. Our armor may be custom-made, but certain parts of it are interchangeable. By prying open the doors of the armory, we can expose to daylight the more universal bits and pieces and also rummage through the closets that house less universal, but often dangerous, items of vulnerability protection.”

5. More courage, compassion, and connection

“I want to explain what I mean by shame resilience. I mean the ability to practice authenticity when we experience shame, to move through the experience without sacrificing our values, and to come out on the other side of the shame experience with more courage, compassion, and connection than we had going into it. Shame resilience is about moving from shame to empathy – the real antidote to shame.”

6. Vulnerability without boundaries

“Vulnerability without boundaries leads to disconnection, distrust, and disengagement… In fact,… ‘letting it all hang out’ or boundaryless disclosure is one way we protect ourselves from real vulnerability. And the TMI (too much information) issue is not even a case of ‘too much vulnerability’ – vulnerability is bankrupt on its own terms when people move from being vulnerable to using vulnerability to deal with unmet needs, get attention, or engage in the shock-and-awe behaviors that are so commonplace in today’s culture.”

7. The opposite of scarcity is enough

“The counterapproach to living in scarcity is not about abundance. In fact, I think abundance and scarcity are two sides of the same coin. The opposite of ‘never enough’ isn’t abundance or ‘more than you could ever imagine.’ The opposite of scarcity is enough, or what I call Wholeheartedness…”

8. Going it alone

“Going it alone is a value we hold in high esteem in our culture, ironically even when it comes to cultivating connection… In reality, walking alone can feel miserable and depressing, but we admire the strength it conveys, and going it alone is revered in our culture.”

9. Our protection mechanisms

“Our protection mechanisms may be more sophisticated now that we’re adults, but most of us learned about armor during these raw and impressionable years, and most of us can be brought back to that place in a heartbeat.”

Do you think that connection is why we’re here?

Purchase Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead

My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!

“Our crowded, overly-consumed, hyper-active, digitally-addicted lifestyle is draining the life out of us. We are desperate to transcend the chaos and find a better way to live. We need a mystical imagination. Get ready to be transported into the depths of meaning as Votava breaks open the contemplative path and shows you how to live your life to the fullest.” Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and founding partner, Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism

My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!

“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in our hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline…  without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.”  Shane Claiborne, author and activist