Hello, it’s me…
I’m finally reviewing the book I’ve been preaching about for like ever. This book changed my life and I hardly ever say that. I’m very cautious about saying that things “changed my life”. It was at times an eye opener and at other times validation because the author and I are so similar and struggle with the same issues: perfectionism, a struggle with being vulnerable, shame and creating narratives when we’re unsure of what someone else is thinking. Reading her work has made me approach life in a kinder manner. I am more understanding of people’s struggles and forgiving of my mine. I am more honest with myself.
Brene Brown is a researcher whose work focuses on shame and fear and her storytelling is fantastic. I listened to the book on audible and it just really felt like a chat with a very wise aunt. I actually missed her voice after I was done. There’s nothing I can say about this book that will not feel reductive and I just really want you all to read it because the scope of its material is breathtaking. And it is SO practical for relationships, work, love, creativity; everything.
The rising strong process involves reckoning with our emotions and getting curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. My favorite idea and one I now practice is the one where you tell yourself “the story I’m making up is…” that is, coming to see that the interpretations of events/people we’ve created in our heads because of our fears/insecurities are probably inaccurate.
I had over a hundred highlights so you can imagine how hard it was to pick just a few to show you on here. I hope these help you to understand why you should get this book.
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome”
“The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives.”
“The opposite of scarcity is not abundance; the opposite of scarcity is simply enough. Empathy is not finite, and compassion is not a pizza with eight slices. When you practice empathy and compassion with someone, there is not less of these qualities to go around. There’s more. Love is the last thing we need to ration in this world. The refugee in Syria doesn’t benefit more if you conserve your kindness only for her and withhold it from your neighbor who’s going through a divorce. Yes, perspective is critical. But I’m a firm believer that complaining is okay as long as we piss and moan with a little perspective”
“Our bodies often respond before our conscious minds, and they are hardwired to protect—to run or fight. Even with small, everyday conflicts and disappointments, physical and emotional intolerance for discomfort is the primary reason we linger on the outskirts of our stories, never truly facing them or integrating them into our lives. We disengage to self-protect.”
“Hurt doesn’t go away simply because we don’t acknowledge it. In fact, left unchecked, it festers, grows, and leads to behaviors that are completely out of line with whom we want to be, and thinking that can sabotage our relationships and careers”
“Our ego is the part of us that cares about our status and what people think, about always being better than and always being right”
“It’s much easier to say, “I don’t give a damn,” than it is to say, “I’m hurt.” The ego likes blaming, finding fault, making excuses, inflicting payback, and lashing out, all of which are ultimate forms of self-protection. The ego is also a fan of avoidance—assuring the offender that we’re fine”
“Great mothers know that they are worthy of love and belonging, and as a result they raise children who know they are worthy of the same things”
“Shame is much more likely to be the cause of destructive behavior than the cure. Guilt and empathy are the emotions that lead us to question how our actions affect other people, and both of these are severely diminished by the presence of shame”
“To love is to know the loss of love. Heartbreak is unavoidable unless we choose not to love at all. A lot of people do just that.”
“In order for forgiveness to happen, something has to die. If you make a choice to forgive, you have to face into the pain. You simply have to hurt.”
“Rather than being a tool for connection, sympathy emerged in the data as a form of disconnection. Sympathy is removed: When someone says, “I feel sorry for you” or “That must be terrible,” they are standing at a safe distance. Rather than conveying the powerful “me too” of empathy, it communicates “not me,” and then adds, “But I do feel for you.” Sympathy is more likely to be a shame trigger than something that heals shame”
Brene Brown is a genius. Period. I’m currently listening to another one of her books and it’s also great.