Within the next few months, certainly before the end of the year, I will be leaving the most beautiful city of Santa Barbara, California and moving to Austin, Texas.  There are many thoughts, fears, and expectations around this endeavor but those are not the purpose of this blog.  That statement is really only to excuse the fact that my time is occupied primarily other places and I have not been able to write here as much as I would like.

However, as I have been sorting tools, clothes, books, art, furniture, tooth brushes and kitchen gear for trashing or boxing, I have been listening to Brene Brown of the viral Ted Talk, and her series of tapes called “The Power Of Vulnerability“.  Many times while listening I have felt I am hearing something significant to me, and I take this time to pass on many of those thoughts to you.

Love and Belonging are irreducible needs of men, women and children.

We cultivate love when we allow out most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get.  It’s something we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them.  We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows.  Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.

Our first order of business is the development of self love.

Belonging is the innate human desire to be a part of something larger than us.  Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it.  True belonging only happens when we present our authentic and perfect selves to the world.  Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self acceptance.

To have a deep sense of love does not just mean the capacity to love other people.  It means a deep sense of being lovable….The only difference was that men and women who have a deep sense of Love and Belonging believe they are worthy of Love and Belonging.  That’s it.

Fitting in, emerges as the primary barrier to cultivating real belonging.

The wholehearted [those who have a deep sense of Love and Belonging] absolutely cultivate rest and play.

Wholehearted folks embrace vulnerability.

Predictable activities to avoid vulnerability:  Clove Smoking Poet, Angry Activist, Corporate Climber, Wild Party Girl…”Somewhat predictable developmental stages, but really for me Fueled by two big things, don’t let anybody too close, and always have an exit strategy.

How much we know ourselves is extremely important.  But how we treat ourselves is the most important.

Vulnerability is the center of difficult emotion.  But it’s also the birthplace of every positive emotion that we need in our lives; belonging, joy, empathy,...innovation and creativity.

There is much more to this series, very powerful stuff.  I think now that I will share more as it comes, but time is difficult for me.

I hope that people here can see the echos to what I have said for a long time.  Understand that who you are, at the core, even those deep dark places we cover so creatively in order to fit in with society as we see it.  It is your true self, your real self, and you will not be able to live your life as a whole, expressive, full being, and love those who you see deserve it, until you view yourself, all of yourself, with love, trust, kindness and affection.  It IS deserved.  Whatever your phylosophy, you are the result of the greatest creative forces imaginable.  There is no one who has ever existed who has your gifts.  Be who you are.

The Eroticist