Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Gifts of Imperfection

I just finished reading The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Dr. Brene Brown. I found the book while searching through the blogher network website.  It caught my eye because, well, let's face it, I am imperfect and need to learn how to deal with that.

The book was a lot different than I expected. It's not like other self-help books in that it tells you straight up how to get over your weight issues, social awkwardness, or other obvious imperfections we know we have. It went deeper. Kind of uncomfortable deep.

Her theme and goal was to live a Wholehearted life. She's a researcher of shame, authenticity and belonging and has interviewed countless people. She came to find that some people don't let shame change who they are or affect them as much as the rest of the population seems to do. Her findings of how those people live a wholehearted life and how her research as changed her own life is what makes up this book.

She goes through 10 guideposts "on the power of Wholehearted living." She shares personal examples of how each guidepost has changed her life and others and offers a few ideas on how it could do the same for you. Things like creating self-compassion and being less critical of yourself (cause you know you hold yourself to an impossible standard) or cultivating a heart of joy and gratitude. Things that we think should be easy but because we carry hurt and baggage seem impossible to do.

She talks about things like guilt and shame, love and belonging and how one gets in the way of the other. She even talks about how playing is just as important to our being as sleep!

Although, this isn't coming from an overtly Christian perspective, a lot of what she shares seem to be true to the nature of human beings, regardless of religion. Knowing Jesus would probably make the things she talks about a lot more fulfilling if anything. She does talk about the idea of spirituality and that being key to wholehearted living.

So many sentences I read and wanted to write down or underline, but I didn't. It was a library book and I read it while exercising . . . So many things she mentioned spoke to my heart and I was invited to think on things a lot more than I normally allow. It was a good "thinking about feeling" kind of book.

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