I can’t believe an entire year has gone by since I began having these conversations with randos on the internet, LOL! I started this group because I wanted to discuss Brené’s work, specifically her new podcast Unlocking Us, and none of my friends were listening to it. I figured I couldn’t be the only person wanting to have “face-to-face” conversations about these incredibly important topics. I also felt I needed more social connection with the outside world as the reality of a long-term lockdown set in.
I really didn’t think anyone would join the Facebook group let alone show up on Zoom to talk about the podcast each week. I’ve been blown away by the response! People did join and they even started showing up for the discussions!! Brené is such an overachiever she had to go and start a second podcast, Dare to Lead. So now my group meets twice a week to discuss the work of Brené and her guests!
Week after week, the display of vulnerability and courage has been amazing to witness. Brené covers many difficult topics and the bravery it takes to sit in front of a computer and discuss emotionally charged subjects with perfect strangers needs to be recognized and applauded!!
Several of the participants have reached out to me after the discussions describing what Brené calls a, “vulnerability hangover.” They are mortified they shared the dark parts of themselves or of the people in their lives but especially shaken to have shared it with people they don’t know on the internet. The heartbreaking part is that they generally don’t return to the discussions. Being vulnerable is so hard and I often feel that while being able to have these talks with people from around the world is an incredible accomplishment of humanity, it still lacks the true connection we as human beings need.
Some topics are very difficult and people don’t always show up to discuss them. The race conversations have been especially hard for people to have but when they do occur, they are beautiful (and frustrating). Often the conversations become about how people aren’t having enough uncomfortable conversations. There is so much fear about saying the wrong thing or being judged that many stay silent or don’t show up at all. This is exactly why I do not record these conversations. We’re allowed to make mistakes and not have them on video for the world to see. We’re allowed to explore and ask questions about the complexities of life without having to worry that it may be used against us in the future. We’re allowed to be imperfect human beings.
Watching people show up to share their thoughts and experiences has been awe inspiring. I’m so excited to continue to have these difficult conversations with my wholehearted community. They have taught me so much. As of today, we have over 5,000 courageous members. I would love for you to join our wholehearted community, Brené Brown UNLOCKING US and DARE TO LEAD Podcast Discussion, on Facebook and participate in our conversations!