Her Royal Highness of Vulnerability: Reflecting on DARE

It is no exaggeration to say that Daring Greatly completely changed my life. I know I’m not alone in this. Author, social worker, and all around vulnerability badass Brene Brown is one of those transformational people who seems to make fans of literally anyone who has read her work.

Everything she creates, writes, or discusses is pure gold. And so during a week that was far more cerebral than I expected it to be, I found myself watching and rewatching this Facebook video she filmed in the wake of Charlottesville.

In it, she articulates the importance of owning our privilege. And recognizing that we all have it in one way or another. How we are all responsible for standing up for those who lack the privileges we have. To act in compassion and grace when we fuck up — because no matter how woke we all try to be, we’re imperfect. We mess up. And at the heart of her life’s work is that to be vulnerable, to own up to our mistakes or assumptions or general wrongness… that is the most DARING thing we can do.

Brene challenged me this week to reconsider and really own the benefits I receive that I did not earn. That I have been granted because I am a mostly-young white cisgender able-bodied middle-class well-educated woman. And to consider and reflect upon how I can use those identities to not only benefit myself but to use my voice to support — yet not speak for — those with marginalized identities.

To hold others accountable. And to do so with compassion. To rise above words of hate because, let’s face it, if I espouse hate back in the face of bigotry then what purpose am I truly serving? Does this mean I sympathize with or condone the beliefs of white supremacists? Absolutely not. But to challenge those ideas in a wholehearted and empathetic way, especially with those whose ears I already have, is just about as close to DARING as we can manage most days. And that ain’t bad.

Lin’s VOW Mantra: “Daring greatly is being brave and afraid every minute of the day at the exact same time.” ~Brene Brown

Lin’s VOW Song Playlist of the Week: As Steph mentioned, #VOWdare will always and forever be linked with HRH Brene Brown in our minds. So with that, my song became my playlist, created as a class project for COURAGEworks.

Check out Steph’s #VOWdare post here!

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