“Connection is why we’re here. It is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
She then goes on to name shame and fear as the things that unravel connection. The thought that feelings of shame and fear are born out of expectations struck me. Expectations are placed on us from others but more often we place expectations on ourselves. These expectations directly correlate to our inability to experience real relationships including our relationship with Christ. Recently I heard a sermon where the pastor said, “ Your experience of God will never grow bigger than your expectation.” The expectations we hold build a box around where we will see and experience the Lord. When we remove our expectations we open up space for the Lord to show up bigger than we ever imagined.
Brene names the starting point for this process to be worthiness. Vulnerability in connection is only experienced by those who believe they are worthy of experiencing it. Expectations implant the idea that we are not good enough and don’t deserve to even find belonging. I absolutely believe our biggest hindrance in being able to grasp the gravity of God’s love for us is our belief that we don’t deserve it. Brene stated that the people who had a strong sense of love and belonging in her study believed that they were worthy of it. These people were the ones that were able to not only accept love but also to love others “wholeheartedly.”
“Let ourselves be seen. Deeply seen. Vulnerably seen. … Love with our whole hearts even though there’s no guarantee.”
I love the picture of being poured into and in turn pouring into others. The two actions go hand in hand but first we must be willing to be poured into. When we are not accepting of being poured into we will fill that space with something else… Brene refers to this as numbing. Our culture and world is constantly telling us that this is the only way to deal with the fears of really being seen then possibly being rejected. We are told to self protect, don’t take chances and never leave yourself open to pain… vulnerability has become negative and a sign of weakness.The Gospel completely counteracts this message with unstoppable, vulnerable and powerful love! The realization that the Lord meets us exactly where we are with no expectations takes my breath away. Over and over again he is drawing us in to tell us we are worthy so that we can get a taste of true love!