This is one of the more influential TED talks I’ve seen, with more people responding to it when I’ve posted it than any other.
Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
There. Told you what this is about….here’s the deal: I promise you will look at the rest of the day & the things you say differently, after you digest this little rendering of a seemingly counter-intuitive thought.
The morning, most days, is so beautiful that it’s really a good thing that it fades into the clear day….otherwise we wouldn’t get anything done! The morning’s colours fade, easily & gently, into that special place in our hearts where the embers warm us, through the morning hours & the rest of the day.
Robert Frost says, “Nothing gold can stay,” but I think that’s true only on the morning’s horizon. The gold of remembered dreams, the golden fire of waking to the magic we can do in the world, and the blaze that accompanies our burning desire to share & to heal each day – these never go out.
Here’s a little morning song for you from the Incredible String Band (click here to hear, you hear?)
May the longtime sun shine upon you All love surround you And the pure white light within you Guide your way home.
It was just a year ago I was visiting with a friend of mine.
She was telling me about all the problems she was having with her boyfriend: He was terribly attached to his mother; he couldn’t finish certain tasks, ever; he always forgot the clothes in the dryer; he hasn’t gotten over his first girlfriend. “Damn,” she said, “he sure has a lot of baggage. I don’t know if we can make it. I just can’t handle it.”
She’s seventeen. Now.
Fast forward a week, and I’m having the same conversation with a head-shaking, confidence-shaken buddy of mine, who tells the same story. Substitute a father for a mother, clothes in a drawer, forgetfulness for mild disrespect…same plotline.
Seems to me that there’s a key to managing this story. Because we all share this story, no matter how young/old, wise/inexperienced, smart/clueless, brave/scared, and the great range in between. And it begins with ditching the notion that life will finally be OK when we meet someone perfect, who doesn’t have any baggage.
Seems to me that’s not where the problem lies. But there is a two step map to happier days.
First, do what you have to do to be accepting of the baggage. Maybe he IS still anchored in memories from three relationships back, but is that balanced by other things? Maybe she picks her nose, but also picks up the kids after school. Maybe he forgets to feed the dog but remembers what you like after a long day at the office. Maybe she complains a bit more than you like, but don’t let that drown out the appreciation, when it comes.
The second step is that successful baggage-handling has to be a two-person team project. Finding the words & the time & the love & the togetherness to visit about the “baggage”… it gives you a chance to handle it together. Treat it like baggage, with agreements about where it goes. Like any old bag: Leave it at the thrift shop. Put it in the storage locker. Agree to talk about it in private but not in public. Maybe even agree to let the other carry it every day, after you both sort out that it’s not gonna just disappear. Agreeing that there’s something that’s bugging you is tons better than wishing it would all go away.
And it’s a chance to show the world that your love & ability to love & the confidence you place in your love is bigger than some random bit of baggage.
As we get the school year gets underway in Canada & in the USA, we’ll look at school supplies, books, curriculum, and more as the kids get ready to get back to their classrooms, as well as the great questions: Who did my child get for math? What’s for lunch today? And…you’re wearing that?
Perhaps even deeper is the underlying set of assumptions each kid carries with her, suitcased into her brain from the culture that packs her off to school – the one that leads some kids to drop a math problem after 30 seconds & others to attack the same problem for over an hour.
What’s at play here? Here’s a good nine-minute place to start.
For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength.
Let me know what you think after you get a chance to check this out: