Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why I Loved Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

I feel like I was among the last kids on the block to hear about Brene Brown.  But luckily I have friends like Amy and Lauren who mentioned her work on their blogs which sparked my curiosity and led me to borrow her book, Daring Greatly, from the library in September.  It's a great book.  Those who liked Cheryl Strayed Tiny Beautiful Things or Glennon Melton's Carry On Warrior will also enjoy this book.  It's all about letting down your guard and showing your vulnerability.

I borrowed this book from the library, but it's one that I'll definitely be picking up for my collection as it's the kind of book I know I would reference again.  Here are a selection of passages that illustrate why I loved this book.

Scarcity thrives in a culture where everyone is hyperaware of lack.  Everything from safety and love to money and resources feels restricted or lacking.  We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want, and don't have, and how much everyone else has, needs, and wants.  What makes this constant assessing and comparing so self-deating is that we are often comparing our lives, our marriages, our families, and our communities to unattainable, media-driven visions of perfection, or we've holding up our reality again our own fictional account of how great someone else has it.

Yet another reminder to stop comparing our lives to others.  We don't know the half of it most of the time, so comparing is such a waste of time.

I did believe that I could opt out of feeling vulnerable, so when it happened - when the phone rang with unimaginable news; or when i was scared; or when I loved so fiercely that rather than feeling gratitude and joy I could only prepare for loss - I controlled things. I managed situations and micro-managed the people around me.  I performed until there was no energy left to feel.  I made what was uncertain certain, no matter what the cost.  I stayed so busy that the truth of my hurting and my fear could never catch up.  I looked brave on the outside and felt scared on the inside.

Yep, one of my defenses against dealing with things is staying so busy and traveling that I don't have time to sit down and process things happening in my life.  I pretty much have trips planned 2 weekends/month through February 2014...  it's my defense against dealing with living in Charlotte, and it works for me, but eventually I am probably going to have to slow down and deal with some of the emotions I am trying to stave off by traveling so much.

"You're not a bad person.  You're a very good person who bad things have happened to.  Besides, the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters.  We've all got both light and dark inside us.  What matters is the part we choose to act on.  That's who we really are."

This is a quote from a Harry Potter book that she shared that is so relevant to me.  Sometimes I feel bad about how ragey I feel about living in Charlotte.  But I need to remember that we all have some dark parts inside of us and what matters most is not acting on them.  I will admit that I totally act on the ragey thoughts when driving in Charlotte as it brings out Lisa Dotzenrage, but oh well.  We all have our faults.

Don't try to win over the haters; you are not the jackass whisperer.

Yes.  This.

What is the last book you read that really inspired you or made you think about your life differently?


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Lol Lisa Dotzenrage is my favorite. Hilarious.

I don't feel like you absolutely HAVE to deal with your emotions about Charlotte. Ha. You can just travel and travel until you leave :)

Oh and you are not the last to hear of this author/book- I haven't until today :) (although I probably saw it on your goodreads).

Marlys said...

It is good to look within ourselves and it seems that you are doing just that! This books appears to have great advice and I'm glad you found it! I guess we all have coping mechanisms we use to get through hard parts of our lives. You will make it and learn things about yourself in the process!

missris said...

Oooh I definitely need to check this book out from the library! I think I have (for the most part) moved on from the rage part of living in Pittsburgh to the "huh. weird. I live here" part, but sometimes that old rage still flares up. It's not productive though, and it makes me feel bad. At least I know I'm not alone!

Nora said...

Well I need to read this book. That last quote made me laugh out loud and shake my head yes at the same time!

I have not heard of the author/book either, so I'm the last to know right now :)

Stephany said...

I love Lisa Dotzenrage. Best. I think my alter ego would have to be Stephany Raging... which is just awesome. Must now use this.

I really want to read this book because I love books like this that make me think and inspire me.

Abby said...

Wow, I would really like to read this book. May have to stop at my library this week and see if they have it!

Some of those excerpts are so profound. It's almost as if they were written for you -- with all that you've been going through!

Don't feel guilty about hating Charlotte. It's no for you. That's it. I could feel it when I visited you. I can see why some people really like it, but it didn't feel like a "Lisa" type of place to me.

I'm feeling ragey right now too, just irritated with the way our plans keep getting changed. I also know I need to bite my tongue, and speak no negative words. I'm not good at biting my tongue...

Becky said...

I've been on the waitlist at the library for this for SO long but when I started it, I just couldn't get into it! She's very upfront about being a researcher and that being vulnerable was her "work" but it seemed really dry to me whereas Tiny Beautiful Things and Carry On Warrior immediately jumped into showing me how they were being vulnerable. I might pick it up at another time because again, I've heard nothing but good things from people!

Jeanie said...

Lisa Dotzenrage? Bravo!

This sounds like a fabulous book, one with great space for growth and learning, yet well written and not preachy sounding. It's one I would like to discover, too.

Cherry Blossoms said...

Doztenrage- love it.

and when you cut across 3 lanes of traffic to get a good deal on gas what would you call that?!lol

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Hmmm tough question ... probably a kid's book, haha!

Amber said...

I didn't think I'd heard of this book but then when you were telling me about it in Chicago I looked at my note of books I wanted to read after my last trip to the library and Daring Greatly was on there so I obviously noticed it when I was last browsing the bookstore! So yes, I definitely would like to read it. Tiny beautiful things really changed some of my perspectives on life. I just found her writing so refreshing and realistic, which I liked a lot.