Researcher and storyteller. This is how Brené Brown presents herself to the world. This is how she was presented to me by a therapist, many years ago.
Now, this sounded like someone I want to learn from. Having studied for many years, Brené Brown seemed like she had it figured out—maybe I could learn from her work?
So, I read The Gifts of Imperfection many times over. And, although I found many ideas that have pushed me forward in my life, I did not find a researcher and storyteller who knew it all.
Instead, I found a humble human being with a valuable message to share. I found an imperfect guide to asking the hard question and opening myself to the answers within me.
Brené Brown openly expresses that she is imperfect in her practice of wholehearted living. And this is why her stories have the power to teach each and everyone of us about wholeheartedness.
A Bit About Our Insight Pages
The purpose of these Insight Pages is to share with you some comprehensive understandings on the leading thought-provoking books available to you. The books I choose to read and provide insights on have been carefully selected as narratives providing valuable understanding of the self and the world.
This blog post is meant to complement the insights found in the book in question. I have included some thoughts that have stood out to me while reading this book, wisdom that the author has so carefully crafted and thought-provoking questions to keep the discussion going.
These thoughts and summaries are not meant to replace the book. I would urge you to consider reading the book in its entirety if at all possible.
Highlighted Messages—From a Therapist, Friend and Human Being
** We need common language to talk about life and living. Brené Brown provides such language in The Gifts of Imperfection. She speaks honestly on shame, vulnerability, courage, faith, belonging, connection and compassion, and many other topics we rarely discuss in our society. This book also urges us to courageously talk about these topics, and others, within our communities.
** Be a wholehearted person as often as you can. As it is explicitly said in the title of this book, life is very much imperfect. This book embraces imperfection, celebrating it. And it invites you to do so as well.
** Engage with all of your emotions. Many of us have gotten quite good at filtering our emotions, selecting some and disposing of the most difficult ones. This book, by simply discussing many of the difficult emotions one can experience as a human being, suggests that learning to lean into all of your emotions is essential to wholehearted living.
Pearls of Wisdom From the Author
This is one of the most “quotable” books I have ever read—and I read a lot. Every word of this book was so thoughtfully chosen by Brené, creating a comprehensive guide to interacting with ourselves and the world.
I chose eight (8) of my favourite quotes from this book. Of course, I have certainly missed many of the important messages in this limited list. But I do hope you enjoy the quotes that speak to you.
“How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a Wholehearted life: loving ourselves.” p. xi
“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.’” p. 1
“We have to own our story to share it with someone who has earned the right to hear it, someone whom we can count on to respond with compassion.” p. 9
“When we struggle to believe in our worthiness, we hustle for it.” p. 37
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” p. 50
“When we zoom out, we start to see a completely different picture. We see many people in the same struggle.” p. 68
“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” p. 70
“A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, ‘My story matters because I matter.’” p.126
A Few Questions to Ponder Based on My Reading
How can I choose to practise wholehearted living in my life? With my family? At work or at school? With myself?
How do I show up for courage, compassion and connection in my life?
Which guideposts do I live by daily? Which are harder for me to lean into?
Brené Brown: https://brenebrown.com/