It’s finally here!
The chance to start discussing The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown (Yippee!). Today we’re discussing the preface, intro, the three C’s, and exploring the power of love, belonging and being enough. (Next week we will cover “Things that get in the way” and Guidepost #1 and then a guidepost a week after that).
My reading system has flaws, I’ve discovered. Here let me show you.
So yeah, basically I’ve written down every page I read as one to refer back to. On the one hand, what a great book! On the other, not so helpful when it comes to leading a discussion that goes a bit deeper than, I loved it all, didn’t you?
Again, I want to say it’s OK not to like something (or all) of what Brene wrote. So, if you disagree with what I’m going to write, or with Brene’, please still participate!
I enjoyed reading in the preface a bit of the background for the book and the way she described not a mid-life crisis, but unraveling. “It’s an unraveling — a time when you feel a desperate pull to live the life you want to live, not the one you are ‘supposed’ to live… The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.” Brene’ didn’t limit unraveling to those in mid-life. I know I’ve been on unraveling journey and bet you have too at some point in life. We’ll talk more about that in comments.
Brene’ also described wholehearted living as the work of cultivating and letting go. Oh, we know, don’t we? God gave us two hands and part of the metaphor embedded in them is picking up with one and letting go with the other. And when you live overseas, this can be exhausting, can’t it? The ebb and flow of cultivating someone or project for a short time only to have to let it go and welcome in the next teammate or project or students. Over the long haul, this is soul wearying.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it… Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” Thoughts? Agree? Disagree?
From the chapter on Courage, Compassion, and Connection, I love the way Brene’ describes “shame storms,” been there, done that. And the ways shame can cause us to stop believing in our worthiness and instead start hustling for it. If nothing else, I want you to know even though you have families and supporters and locals and who knows who else that depend on you. What you do for them is not what makes you worthy. What you do does not add one iota of worthiness to your soul. You are worthy because you are a daughter of the Most High King and he loves you and your worth is based on that alone. Shame storms are of the devil.
Loved the reminder of the ripple effects of courage? How has someone’s courage helped you?
Brené writes, “This research has taught me that if we really want to practice compassion, we have to start by setting boundaries and holding people accountable for their behavior…It’s also important that we lean into the discomfort that comes with straddling compassion and boundaries. ” Oh my, the straddling we have to do living outside of our cultures and the complex rules that come into play! Is this an area that comes naturally to you? Or is it a fairly constant struggle?
In the chapter on belonging and being enough, she writes that we need to let go of what other people think of our stories to gain access to worthiness. I have found that true in my own life and can share more in the comments. How about you? Have you seen this played out for you or your kids?
I appreciate the distinction Brene’ made between fitting in and belonging and that fitting in can get in the way of belonging. As overseas workers who work with people from all over the world and local people. What has your experience been with figuring out when to change, when to adapt, and when to be true to something deep within you, something you sense God is not asking you to change?
Well if that doesn’t get the ball rolling for a discussion, I don’t know what will :). I look forward to chatting with you in the comments.
P.S. Our next book is going to be a memoir! I was inspired based on our conversation two weeks ago. I’m in the process of contacting the author, will share more when I get details nailed down.