Everything that Brene describes as what we want to avoid are the very things that my sister, Mim, embraced.
Although it was NEVER discussed in the family, not even as an confidential explanation for the out-of-step way she intentionally lived, it was clear from my early adulthood that something was horribly amiss with her. The way the family responded to her, which confused me back then & frustrated me all of my life, seemed like a neon sign flashing SHE WAS HURT. My suspicions were confirmed last year after I mentioned to one of her closer friends my certainty that she’d been grievously abused as a very little child – years ago, she told him that she had.
I came across this TED talk looking for Brene’s Anatomy of Trust video. It blew me away – the more Brene talked about resisting vulnerability, the more I saw Mim. It’s about as good an introduction as I can give to knowing my sister, as I experienced her.
Unknowingly, Mim played the dominant role in my coming to understand the 5th Commandment as being about honoring others for who they are, every bit of them, including the dark, inscrutable parts, and respecting their wholeness, even when we don’t understand it. And that it all begins with having compassion for who WE are.
I wish that was something Mim could have understood for herself.