“Excavate the Unsaid” is something Brené Brown said on her Netflix special The Call to Courage.
So many people in my circle are huge Brené Brown fans. They listen to all her Ted Talks and have read all her books. When I turned on Netflix last night, I was going in blind.
Coming off of Kyle Cease’s Love Rising videos, I was prepared for something similar, but I found it quite different. Not good or bad, just different.
I found a number of the things she said to be extremely powerful and were real takeaways for me. Learning not to exploit the pain in the people we love was a big one. This is an easy offensive go-to in the heat of a disagreement with someone you care about. It’s like taking the cheap shot. But I had never considered it as exploiting someone else’s pain. That idea requires some stepping back and taking stock of what we do to people we profess to love.
When someone is in pain, why would we want to hurt them further?
The other takeaway for me was “excavating the unsaid”. She gives a really long example of this from her own life which was enough to make the special worth watching. So often we have a story we create in our heads to explain the behavior of someone else. In many cases, the story we create is not based on anything but our imagination. Why isn’t it easier to simply ask for the truth? When we find truth, we find growth.
Digging deep with each other, especially people important in our lives, is essential in understanding. Being vulnerable is not easy, especially if there is no warm and welcoming place that makes you feel safe in being open and raw. Don’t ask someone to be vulnerable if you are unwilling to accept their vulnerability.
Based on my experience, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable has a lot to do with the gender roles we have learned throughout our lives. Men are not supposed to be vulnerable, but women, being the societal ‘weaker sex’, are often seen as vulnerable.
Brené also talks about the chicken and egg scenario when it comes to trust Versus the ability to be vulnerable.
I am glad I watched. I am not ready to go out and buy her books, but I do value what she shared. Each teacher comes into our lives at just the right time I think. Then it is up to us.
Perhaps we can become addicted to self-help trying to make sense of our lives. For me, I listen for the motivation to effect change in my life. Once I have heard the lesson, it is time to put the lessons learned into action. It will not matter how many teachers you have if you do not apply the lessons to your own life.
I would encourage you to watch The Call to Courage. It is a minimal investment of time and who knows, it might be what you need to hear.