On Vulnerability – Going Deeper

Rev. Aaron Payson

This month’s Soul Matters Theme is “vulnerability”.  For my nugget on the theme, I propose to use one of the exercises suggested in the small group material shared to prompt discussion on the subject as well as engage in the kind of discipline that our 8th Principle working group has demonstrated with the moments shared during services throughout the year.  Below is a description of an exercise in going deeper that I invite you to consider for this month.  Stay tuned to the newsletter for an announcement that invites us to gather virtually in a few weeks to discuss this material, a date yet to be determined.  You are also invited to share your thoughts on vulnerability in our UUCW Soul Matters Facebook Group.  If you’d like to talk privately about this material, please do not hesitate to contact me at  .  Blessings, Aaron

“You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.”
― Brené Brown, The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections and Courage

Exercise: Led by the widely read and widely celebrated Brene Brown, “courage & vulnerability culture” has become the unquestioned frame of reference for vast swaths of the self-help, research and therapeutic communities. But maybe a bit of questioning is needed. Spend some time this month with some important questioners and their appeal for us to take another – and more careful – look. Here are three of the voices we suggest: 

●        The Dangers of Courage Culture and Why Brene Brown Isn’t for Black Folk, Dr. Carey Yazeed

 ●        Is vulnerability a privilege? Jeff Couillard

 ●        The Risks & Dangers of Brene Brown’s Vulnerability for People of Color – Different People Podcast