I’ve been swimming around in Daring Greatly for several months now. It’s been so, so good. And a little hard, too.
This book is written by Brene Brown, a shame-and-vulnerability researcher hailing from Texas. She’s spent the better part of the last decade of her life researching and studying the effects of shame and coming up with ways to combat it. How do you combat shame? With vulnerability, openness, and honesty- both with yourself and with others.
I talk about emotional health a lot on this blog. I think it’s an important conversation to be having (obvs), and a lot of what I talk about includes self-awareness and vulnerability. I get a lot of my opinions from reading books like Daring Greatly.
I wish I had a more intelligent way to share about this book, but I’m really struggling. All I want you to know is that it is soooo good. It is eye-opening, convicting, challenging, and mostly encouraging. I felt so much better about my own story after coming to grips with the difference between guilt and shame, the various ways people (especially me) most often guard against real vulnerability, and how to build in self-checks so I’m not shaming myself or others, but instead creating a safe space to be myself… and to let others be who they truly are as well. I never once felt condescended to, but instead felt challenged to take an honest look at what has been done or said to me, and how I’ve chosen to live my life in response. Is this healthy for me? Was this my fault? How can I move forward without using shame as a defense or a weapon?
So, so, soooo, so good. Go pick it up.
Quotable Quotes: (pretty much the whole book, but I’ll do my best)
Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing it’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.
Shame resilience is the ability to say, “This hurts. This is disappointing, maybe even devastating. But success and recognition and approval are not the values that drive me. My value is courage and I was just courage. You can move on, shame.”
If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived shaming deficiency… Maybe [we break this insidious patter] by deciding (and showing our children) that the solution to being stuck in shame is not to denigrate others stuck just like us, but to join hands and pull free.
It’s not what you do; it’s why you do it that makes the difference… Are my choices comforting and nourishing my spirit, or are they temporary reprieves from vulnerability and difficult emotions ultimately diminishing my spirit? Are my choices leading to my Wholeheartedness, or do they leave me feeling empty and searching?