March 7, 2022

In Times of War: 10 Brené Brown Quotes on Uncertainty, Fear & Vulnerability.


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As a writer, language usually pours forth from me like an endless river, yet lately I don’t have the words to describe the way I have been feeling.

I grew up during the Cold War. I watched “The Day After” in 10th grade and had trouble sleeping for weeks afterward.

And here we are in the exact situation I spent so much of my childhood in fear of.

I mean, it’s difficult to look at Putin’s face and accept that this may be the person who’ll decide if my six and eight-year-old will be allowed to continue being children. It’s even more difficult to think about the six and eight-year-olds in the Ukraine who are already in tangible fear for their lives.

While feeling like there was nothing I could do in this situation, I picked up Brené Brown‘s new book, Atlas of the Heart. Truthfully, I can’t even tell you why. I just as easily could have picked up 1984 or The Poetry of Robert Frost, but something led me to that book. And I found it uniquely comforting.

We’re all scared right now, and I feel like the only thing I can contribute are these quotes on uncertainty, fear, and vulnerability. My only hope is that they help you right now as much as they seem to be helping me:

“I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love.”

“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”

“Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”

“Numb the dark and you numb the light.”

“We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.”

“The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”

“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.”

“Courage is like—it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”

“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”


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