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Reconnect

To embrace and love who we are, we have to reclaim and reconnect with the parts of ourselves we've orphaned over the years. (235)
Here it is. The last quote. This has turned into quite a long series. But what a perfect thought to end on. Because I read so much, when I hear "orphan," I think Oliver Twist. I think neglected. I feel sympathy for this sad being that was not ready for life on their own, but was forced to live that way. And when I think of myself as an orphan, the parts of me that I have abandoned over the years, I start to wonder if that's a good practice or a bad practice. I definitely think it's necessary to some degree, to let go of who we were to become who we can be. To evolve. I love the word evolve.
In this case, I think we're talking about making peace with the parts of ourselves we have orphaned over the years. The parts we've left behind because they were too painful and too heavy to carry around with us. Therapy, for me, has been a…

Regret

But if you can look back during your rumble and see that you didn't hold back - that you were all in - you will feel very different than someone who didn't fully show up. You may have to deal with the failure, but you won't have to wrestle with the same level of shame that we experience when our efforts were halfhearted. (208)
If you have no regrets, or you intentionally set out to live without regrets, I think you're missing the very value of regret. (211)

Going all in means you won't escape this life without at least a few heartbreaks and regrets. It's just inevitable. I can think of at least 5 major life regrets off the top of my head. Most of them involve giving up too soon because I lived with a phobia of failure. 
As Brene points out, regret has value to offer anyone optimistic enough to see it. We learn our strongest lessons and go through our truest periods of personal growth as a result of a regretful action or decision. This is why my mantra …

Despair and Hope

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The connection between failure and powerlessness is important, because all my years of research lead me to argue that we are most dangerous to ourselves and to the people around us when we feel powerless. Powerlessness leads to fear and desperation. (201)
Despair is a spiritual condition. It's the belief that tomorrow will be just like today. (202)

Hope is not an emotion: It's a cognitive process. (202)
I love the dichotomy of the two words in this post title. It's also pretty important to note that one couldn't exist without the other. Without despair, we never learn the power of hope. And without hope, despair would swallow us alive. They quietly exist side by side, deep deep deeply within us. 
To be honest, I don't even know where to start connecting a personal story with this topic. The hope/despair pair is just always there, laying low, in daily life. Sometimes we don't even notice we're hopeful in the midst of despair. 
On that note, let me just talk…

Forgiveness

Given the dark fears we feel when we experience loss, nothing is more generous and loving than the willingness to embrace grief in order to forgive. To be forgiven is to be loved. (150)
When you judge yourself for needing help, you judge those you are helping. (180)

Work has been busy this week, so I've neglected to write any more Rising Strong reflections. But now I'm super pumped it's Friday, and we have our first meeting with our builder this weekend! Also, I recently discovered Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations podcast, and who do you think she began her series of conversations with? Yep, Brene Brown! A two-parter, based on her book, Daring Greatly. You can listen to part 1 here, and part 2 here. And I do recommend them both. Lately, I have started playing an episode of the SuperSoul podcast before falling asleep.
The two quotes I've chosen to reflect on today, shown above, go together for me. Forgiving is a very challenging skill for most of us, especially when…

Judgment

All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be. (113)
Self-righteousness is just the armor of self-loathing. (119)

Today, I'm here with two new Rising Strong quotes, ones that I particularly love. We live in a frustrating world, as you may have noticed. A world that is lightning quick to judge and blame. A world in which many people try to cover up the issues they have with themselves by criticizing others for the same qualities they refuse to acknowledge within themselves. We're all guilty. I have road rage, and my temper is quick to flare when I am faced with a seeming lack of common sense. But I honestly had an epiphany when I read this section of the book. Rarely do I read something that affects me so much that I have to discuss it with someone, but I did just that, with Jason. We talked about whether we truly believe people are doing their best …

Mistakes

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we'll ever do. (40)
The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness - even our wholeheartedness - actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls. (43)

I used to look back at those far-flung dots as mistakes and wasted time, but allowing myself to be curious about who I am and how everything fits together changed that. As difficult and dark as some of those times were, they all connect to form the real me, the integrated and whole me. (53)

After an absolutely insane three-day weekend of moving into our temporary new apartment while our dream home is being built, I am actually glad to be at work today, sitting in a chair, not lifting heavy furniture, or packing a bazillion boxes. And I'm back on track with Rising Strong reflections. This time, I am combining three that I feel are all in a …

Process

"The goal of the process is to rise from our falls, overcome our mistakes, and face hurt in a way that brings more wisdom and wholeheartedness into our lives." (37)
Today, I am going to dive right in to the Rising Strong Process, which essentially means healing. But I love the way Brene presents this concept, that the healing is worth it because when it's all over, we are wiser and more whole. And who doesn't have this goal?!
The Process consists of just three steps: The Reckoning - This is where we become brave, and begin to explore our emotions and the outcomes those emotions have created.The Rumble - This is where we challenge ourselves, about what is true and what is not. And we reframe those untruths and half-truths to become actual truths.The Revolution - This is the ideal outcome and reward for facing your inner demons and shedding light on the truth. Then we must go from thought to action, and begin to live in a new way. Obviously, three steps sounds simple …