The Wholehearted Life: Oprah Talks to Brené Brown
Oprah: Which ultimately goes back to a sense of unworthiness.
Brené: That's it. And let me tell you one thing I learned in my research that I am just so clear on—that I believe in my bones: Love and belonging are the irreducible needs of men, women, and children. In the absence of these, there will always be suffering.
Oprah: And that is why we suffer. When people say, "Why does God allow bad things to happen?" I always say, "You know, God is available to us. He's here all the time, waiting on you." People don't suffer because of God. People suffer because of people. Because we don't allow the spirit to flow through us.
Oprah: Is that not—hello—is that not the truth?
Brené: That is true.
Oprah: You have such a beautiful definition of connection. I actually put it on my iPad, in the place where I keep quotes. "Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment." That made me weep.
Brené: And I think shame unravels connection.
Oprah: Yes. Of course it does. Because it makes us think we're the only one who has ever felt this.
Brené: People say to me, "Why do you think so many people have watched your TED Talk?" I think it's because I give them language to describe experiences we've all had.
Oprah: Yes. You give us language to understand more deeply what we already knew.
Brené: That's my goal now. To give you language and let you know you're not alone.
Oprah: You are an aha-verifier! [Laughs.] You affirm things and I go, Oh, yeah. Because I could have written this book, but I didn't have the words for it.
Brené: I'm gonna get a sweatshirt: "Aha-Verifier."
Oprah: You know, one of the things I found most moving in Daring Greatly was your "Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto." It's so great to be able to use all this information for yourself, but how wonderful it is to also be able to raise your kids this way. Can you read part of it for us?
Brené: I don't know if I can do it without crying, because I'm away from my kids. [Takes a deep breath.] "Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions.... You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections."
Oprah: Yes. Yes.
Brené: "...We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here. As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly."
Oprah: I wish for every parent in the world to put that on their fridge. I just wish everybody could live by those words.
Brené: Me, too.
Oprah: That's how you change the world. It's been an honor to share this space with you, Dr. Brené Brown.
Next: Read an excerpt from Daring Greatly