In honor of National Social Work Month, Adoption STAR’s International Adoption Coordinator Meg Montgomery writes about Dr. Brené Brown.
If you have not heard of social work researcher and storyteller Dr. Brené Brown and her extremely popular 2010 TED Houston talk on the power of vulnerability (it has over 15 million views), please take 20 minutes to listen to it today. I promise it’s worth it.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Hearing Brown’s words, I thought of adoption. Brown defines vulnerability as, “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” Clearly vulnerability exists throughout adoption (for all members of an adoption relationship).
“Love is uncertain. It’s incredibly risky. And loving someone leaves us emotionally exposed.” Adoption encourages an opening of the heart and soul, an acceptance of the unknown, and taking risks in the name of love – and leaves no emotion unturned.
Dr. Brown is also the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (2012). The book focuses on developing resilience skills and developing daily practices that transform the way we live, love, parent and lead.
Brown’s work is applicable on both the micro and macro levels. Her experiential method of working with individuals, couples, families, work teams and organizational leaders is called “The Daring Way.” It invites participants to examine the “thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are holding them back and identify the new choices and practices that will move them toward a more authentic and wholehearted living.”
Social workers like Brown are paving the way for change through research. Let us follow Dr. Brown’s pathway to change and go out and “love with our whole heart”