Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bullet Points from Brene Brown's Rising Strong

I'm reading and loving Brene Brown's book, Rising Strong. I'm only about halfway through, but there's so much good stuff that I thought I'd better share now rather than wait for the end where there'll be so very much it'll be overwhelming.

The quotes are italicized. My thoughts are not.

We're all just walking each other home.

An arena is any time or place where we have risked showing up and being seen.

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 allow in our lives. If you're not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback.

We can rise up from our failures, screwups, and falls, but we can never go back to where we stood before we were brave or before we fell. In the process of rising, we may feel homesick for a place that no longer exists. This so clearly explains how I often feel about my writing. I often feel--or long, really--for the years before I ever published, back when I wrote solely for my own pleasure. Back then, it seemed everything was a just long, heady, exhilarating rush of imagination. I didn't write with an editor sitting on my shoulder. I didn't consider those who might be reading my works. The only voice in my head was my own. I can't go back to that place. I know I'm a better writer now, in large part because of my writer group friends, critique partners, and the letters and reviews I receive, BUT the growth came at a cost. And I can't go back, even if I wanted to...which I don't...but sometimes  I do. Those voices in my head will never go away. They're a part of the process now.

Our interconnectedness and love--our everyday experiences can be spiritual practices because the cultivate awareness. Rising strong after a fall must be a spiritual experience. Grace will take you places hustling can't.

When you're on your path, the universe will conspire to help you. 

We own our stories so we don't spend our lives being defined by them or denying them.

Our bodies respond to emotions first. This was a breakthrough concept for me, helping me realize that I have a tendency to stress-eat when I'm being dishonest with myself and disowning or denying my emotions.
Nothing is wasted. All those messy relationships, conflicts, painful episodes--learning opportunities.
We can't pack down hurt, nor can we download it to someone else while maintaining our authenticity and integrity.
If we numb compulsively and chronically--it's addiction.
What we must ultimately confront is ourself. The most difficult part of our stories is often what we bring to them--what we make up about who we are.
Stories are patterns. We're wired for stories.
Because our minds are designed to try and understand things that happen to us, translating messy, difficult experiences into language makes them "graspable."
Self-righteousness is just the armor of self-loathing. This concept really made me stop and think. I've run into self-righteousness so often. I hate it when I spot it in myself. But I would never have thought of self-righteousness as a mask for insecurity. I would have thought it a pride thing, and I'm better than you because my standards are higher, more difficult to keep, and therefore superior to all of you wallowing in the mud thing. But what is the purpose of self-righteousness if not to make us feel better about ourselves? And why would we need that if we are comfortable in our own skins?
The trick to staying out of resentment is to set and maintain better (more honest) boundaries.
Generosity isn't a free pass for people to take advantage of  us, treat us unfairly, or be purposefully disrespectful and mean. Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.
Our silence about grief serves no one. We can't heal if we can't grieve; we can't forgive if we can't grieve; we can't heal if we can't grieve.
Dependence starts when we're born and lasts until we die. No amount of money, influence, resources, or determination will change our physical, emotional, and spiritual dependence on others. I personally believe that God intentionally gave us strengths and weaknesses so that we would learn to work together and recognize that we're all stronger together than a part. It's like St. Paul said, we all have gifts and we all have weaknesses. 1st Corinthians 12
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

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