There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
-‘Anthem’ by Leonard Cohen as quoted in Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
It’s impossible for me to encapsulate the influence that this book has had on my life. And I couldn’t really understand my situational amnesia after reading it- I KNOW that Brene and I must have had numerous conversations over lunch because she wrote all about me. But, you would think that I would remember lunch dates with Brene. It’s a super frustrating conundrum; but I’ll move past it and lean on the supposition that her research has revealed some important universal (that’s a big statement) truth about humanoids.
I love connections. I think making connections (in reading, writing, conversations, relationships, study) is what makes me the happiest. I just consciously realized this about myself a few months ago. I really like discovering connections and I then I like talking about them. So I will state now how I got connected to Brene Brown and her research. (And issue a plea to her to help me to become more connected-boy, would I love to research with her-with my B.A. in Math Education and my PhD in Motherhood Survival.) Summer of 2014, a conversation with a friend led me to her viral Ted Talk. I didn’t watch it right away; but after someone else mentioned her, I remembered the recommendation and googled it. Yes, that was good. Months later, I was talking to another friend who suggested I read Daring Greatly …if I really wanted to explore fear and vulnerability. I googled my way to Amazon (where one-click ordering has expanded my book collection 5000-fold. Shoot.) The book arrived but it took me months to dive in. Like the young swimmer standing with fear and excitement on the edge of the cold pool, I looked at that front cover and thought, ‘No way. Not today. I don’t have time to get wet-can’t I just stick my toes in?’ But that never works-it’s always better to just leap for full immersion.
Finally, early spring of 2015, I started the book. I cried as we wound our way through No Cal on a spring break family trip. How could she expose me like this…to myself? I marked up my book…underlines, notes, CONNECTIONS, people. I got delayed in the section on foreboding joy. By golly, I didn’t indulge in such an activity-how ridiculous-except that I do. Not exactly in the way that Brene explains but I started keeping a journal of my ‘foreboding joy’ thoughts. That was a revelation.
Because of her willingness to share her research, I have had numerous conversations with friends (and myself) about her assertions. I believe wholeheartedly in what she is trying to help me negotiate so I signed up for her ‘Wholehearted Parenting’ classes which started today. Take a look…http://www.courageworks.com/classes/gifts-of-imperfect-parenting/lessons/lesson-1-love-belonging…they’re all about IMPERFECT PARENTING and I’m actually a genius at that.
To even attempt to share everything that I have gleaned from Brene’s writing would mean quoting the book in its entirety-which last I knew was a form of dishonesty aka ‘plagiarism’. So, might I just highly recommend that you get a copy for yourself (a library copy will NOT do) and see what truths you discover. It’s like wandering through your favorite store where everything you try on seems to be exactly what you need and tailor-made to fit you perfectly. You wonder if you are in a dream; but no, those noisy kids in the background provide ample proof that you are still in the Land of the Living.
Something to consider:
This paragraph below single-handedly got pictures of my kids off the floor and onto the wall, prompted me to start an imperfect exercise program and still has me considering if I really need to spend hours and hours trying to craft the perfect blog post…
‘Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good…a twenty-minute walk that I do is better than a four-mile run that I don’t do. The imperfect book that gets published is better than the perfect book that never leaves my computer. The dinner party of take-out Chinese food is better than the elegant dinner that I never host.’
–The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin as quoted in Daring Greatly by Brene Brown