The Gifts of Imperfection

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. -The Gifts of Imperfection

Hi everyone! I am sorry for the radio silence last week, turned out to be a pretty busy few days ending in Karl and I adopting a cat this weekend from the local shelter. Her name is Lucy and I have a feeling she will be a frequent reading/cuddle buddy. Keeping my fingers crossed. Her favorite spot currently is under our TV console so we’ll see how that goes.

Besides being busy with life, I was actually unsure of what to write about last week. I am currently in the middle of a reading a trilogy (which I will be writing about as soon as I am done with them—they are amazing so far) so I didn’t know what to write about now.

Then I decided, in the later part of the week, to pick up a book I had tried to start reading a few years back; a self-help book that supposedly was life changing. I am not big on self-help books. I have a hard time getting through them and retaining anything from them. I mean its hard to read a book which pretty much tells you everything you are doing is wrong, right? I was job hunting at the time, had just graduated college and The Gifts of Imperfection was recommended to my by a good friend as a way to get my head in the right place. She said it was a must read, and would really help me sort through some of my insecurities and fears. So at her recommendation, two years ago, I bought the book and dove in. Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to hear what Dr. Brown was saying. I made it through about three chapters before realizing that this book wasn’t just about how to love yourself and make everything in life perfect and peachy, but rather about exploring the dark parts that most of us keep hidden, and embracing all parts of yourself and your past, and that was just too much for me to handle at the time. I loved the idea of it, but wasn’t ready to take the steps needed to live, as Brown calls it, the wholehearted life.

Now, a little over two years later, my life is vastly different than it was (living in a new area, working a stable job, and in a serious relationship). I have opened up a lot about my insecurities and fears with my boyfriend, who is amazingly supportive. This opening up completely to someone you trust was part of Brown’s book and I thought maybe it was time I revisited her guide to living wholeheartedly.

This time around I loved the book. Like I said, I don’t do self-help books. But this one resonated. It just made sense. It isn’t only about exploring the darkness (which is as far as I had gotten the first time), but about loving yourself and your past and wanting to live life to the fullest as only you can, in a world that is doing its best to make you conform.

It is a self help book, so as to be expected, it is touchy-feely in parts, and if you are like me, sometimes those books are a little intimidating and quite frankly, boring. This one was different somehow. I do recommend checking it out. Brown explains that living wholeheartedly can’t just be implemented, but rather practiced and integrated into the rest of your life, a continuous process that will be immensely rewarding. Having only read this book this past week, I am not even close to living a fully wholehearted life, but tweaking things here and there, I have already noticed a difference. I plan to take what she has dedicated her life researching, and use it to make the most of my time here on this Earth.

Have you read this one? How have you implemented Brown’s guideposts in your life? Which parts did you find hard or easy? Having just started my journey towards wholehearted living I would love to hear if anyone else has had any success with dedicating your energy to bettering your life. Any other self-help books that you think are must reads?

Thanks for stopping by, and as always, happy reading!