Numbness, Courage, and Vulnerability

Brene Brown talks about the power of vulnerability:

We can all use a reminder that it takes deep courage to gently break through the ways that we habitually numb ourselves; it takes courage to accept ourselves; it takes courage to tell our stories honestly.

An old standby, The Tao Te Ching, does it right:

46.
When the Tao is present in the universe,
The horses haul manure.
When the Tao is absent from the universe,
War horses are bred outside the city.

There is no greater sin than desire,
No greater curse than discontent,
No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself.
Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

credit: giamarie on Flickr

52.
The beginning of the universe
Is the mother of all things.
Knowing the mother, one also knows the sons.
Knowing the sons, yet remaining in touch with the mother,
Brings freedom from the fear of death.

Keep your mouth shut,
Guard the senses,
And life is ever full.
Open your mouth,
Always be busy,
And life is beyond hope.

Seeing the small is insight;
Yielding to force is strength.
Using the outer light, return to insight,
And in this way be saved from harm.
This is learning constancy.

credit: Thai Jasmine on Flickr

13.
Accept disgrace willingly.
Accept misfortune as the human condition.

What do you mean by “Accept disgrace willingly?”
Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with loss or gain.
This is called “accepting disgrace willingly.”

What do you mean by “Accept misfortune as the human condition?”
Misfortune comes from having a body.
Without a body, how could there be misfortune?

Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things.
Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.

credit: New Orleans Lady on Flickr

Reference:

Feng, Gia-fu and English, Jane,translators. 1997. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu. New York: Vintage Books.

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