Jedi Level Vulnerability Training 101

JediLevelVulnerabilityI’m a fan of Star Wars but these days, who isn’t? It’s like when that one football team is doing great, you know it because their jerseys pop up in random Walmarts across the country only to disappear as soon as the winning streak is over.

As a said Star Wars fan, I love the idea of a Jedi. They can sense things before they happen and seem nearly invincible to the onslaught of the dark side trying to attack them. The seem to overflow with calm and peace. But, as any Star Wars fan knows, they did not get there by skipping down a primrose path. Luke had to go to Dagobah and dedicate hard-core time, energy and effort to become what he was. It was also harder for him because he was not raised in the way of the Jedi and was learning these skills as an adult, rather than having them build, line upon line.

This is the process I see myself in when it comes to vulnerability. I’ve developed some mad skills at being able to be vulnerable and open, and to really own my story. I believe this is a worthy endeavor for all of us to pursue. Shame is the primary driver against being truly vulnerable and open, and shame is both one of the most powerful and also one of the weakest emotions out there. Kind of like the dark side. It will wither and fade away, almost as though it never existed when brought into the light. When you can speak your shame in place where it can be held with empathy, with someone you trust, it is amazing at how it fragile it seems all of the sudden.

I’ve been able to do this over and over and over again. And I have built an amazing circle of trusted friends in my life to be those very well-chosen places of refuge for when my greatest of shame will come up. And up it comes! All the time! Even when you’re really good at processing through things, and sitting with the pain to hear what it has to tell you, it still comes up. We are human and we’ve managed to gather a tremendous amount of junk and lies along our journey here on Earth. And each and every one of those negative beliefs, or really lies, has the potential to cause us pain until we dismiss them as the lies that they are.

But this is easier said than done. Some of the things we had so deep and private are so painful we can’t even consciously think the thoughts ourselves, let along wrap them up in words and deliver them to another person!

To me, the Jedi training master herself on this topic is hands-down Brené Brown. Here is an excellent narration on that really explains Empathy well in comparing it to Sympathy:

And the ever-classic original Ted Talk that launched her into center stage on the topic:

This is just a brief introduction to vulnerability and I could, and many have, write a whole book on it.

When you really begin to understand vulnerability, connection, shame and openness it allows you to be accountable for this knowledge, and also gives you power. I invite you to practice more vulnerability in your life. Seek out the kinds of connections that will support you in this and love you not in spite of your vulnerability, but because of it. That means, though, that you will need to show up for them in a similar way, so be ready. And enjoy the ride!

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