Tag Archives: Gifts of Imperfection

Gifts of Imperfection – Exploring the Power of Love, Belonging, and Being Enough, Week 3

24 Sep

You can find previous chapters using the page navigation above.  Brene’s book can be purchased HERE.  It’s awesome.

Gifts of Imperfection – Exploring the Power of Love, Belonging, and Being Enough

When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. Our sense of worthiness—that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging—lives inside of our story.

Brown, Brene (2010-09-20). The Gifts of Imperfection (p. 23). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.

I think back to my teens and twenties and feel like I wasted years and years attempting to “fit in.” Isn’t that what we all do in high school?  Try to figure out who everyone wants us to be?  I wish I could say that becoming a mother matured me beyond this behavior, but it only redirected my attention to who I was supposed to be “as a mother.”  I looked everywhere for the answer.  Parenting books.  Friends.  My own mother.

Brene calls this “hustling for worthiness.”  That phrase hits me right in the gut because I know the pain of changing in an attempt to belong only to find belonging slip through my fingers.  Worthiness was always just out of reach and clothed in self-doubt.  I was supposed to love snuggling my baby all night.  I was supposed to be happy staying at home.  I was supposed to feel like my baby and I belonged together.  Supposed to.  If you’re ever wondering if you’re hustling for worthiness, listen for those words.  They are my red flag.

The other portion in this chapter that resonates with me is about love.

To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than a feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner automatically assumes accountability and responsibility. — BELL HOOKS

Bell Hooks, All About Love: New Visions (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Harper Paperbacks, 2001).

She shares the quote above and gives examples of times she’s struggled with practicing love in her own life.

I truly love Steve (and, oh man, I do), then how I behave every day is as important, if not more important, than saying “I love you” every day. When we don’t practice love with the people we claim to love, it takes a lot out of us. Incongruent living is exhausting.

Brown, Brene (2010-09-20). The Gifts of Imperfection (p. 28). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.

The stress of parenting small children (or even just the stress of everyday life) can make us forget that love is something you do.  My husband likes to say that he told me he loves me the day we got married and if that changes, he will let me know.  He practices love each day  instead.  This chapter reminded me that though I might tell him I love him every day, when I snap at him in an anxious moment, I am not practicing love.  And when I lose my temper with No1, I needed to be more mindful of showing her the love I feel for her.  It’s not easy, and not always possible.  But being mindful of how important my everyday actions are to the people around me has helped me feel more connected to them.  It makes me want to explicitly teach the language of worthiness to my children.

Let’s talk.  Can you think of a time when you felt true belonging? How did you get there?  How did it change your interactions with others or your perception of yourself?

How do you hustle for worthiness?  I know I fall victim to believing that perfection will lead to worthiness for me.  And pleasing.  I am SUCH a people pleaser and am actively working on learning to say no, putting myself first.  Is it performing, perfecting, pleasing, proving?  Or something else?

Disclaimer: I purchased the book Gifts of Imperfection on my own and am not being compensated for my review of the book or for promoting it. I receive no kickback from any of the Amazon links provided above. I simply love the book and want to share.

Gifts of Imperfection – Introduction, Week 1

10 Sep

If you’ve read my about page, you know how much Brene Brown’s work has inspired me to live an authentic life – to be vulnerable and honest with myself and others.  After I saw her video (linked on the about page), I downloaded Gifts of Imperfection: Letting Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are to my Kindle and devoured it in a matter of days.

It was life-changing.

It allowed me to gently look at who I know myself to be and to examine why I was hiding my true self from others.  It taught me about the perils of shame.  And it pushed me to write my story.  This story.  My blog is the result of a giant leap of faith I took after completing the book.  Brene wrote about how vulnerability contributes to happiness – and so I told the world about my PPD.  Fearful of the reaction, I pressed the “publish” button.  I have never regretted that click.

So I’d like to share the book with you.  I started discussing it with my friends over at Mama’s Comfort Camp on Facebook, but feel like this might be a better place.  I’ll summarize a chapter each week and ask you to respond to a prompt to get us started.  You can join in at any time, and there is no deadline on a chapter.  I’ll add a Discuss tab to the menu bar so you can find the discussion easily.

Here’s where you can find a copy of the book.  And here is Brene’s blog, which is awesome.  She has a new book called Daring Greatly, which I can’t wait to read.  When I have time to read again, that is.  😉

There’s a preface, but I’d like to start with the Introduction.  Ready?

Gifts of Imperfection, Introduction

The introduction is an overview of the entire book…a little of everything. Brene talks about her interpretation of Wholeheartedness and suggests that daily practice of courage, compassion, belonging, and being vulnerable can lead to already fulfilling life.

The sentence that resonated the most with me is on the first page: “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” I want to get back to a place where I believe this about myself.  I measure the successfulness of my days by counting dishes in the sink and crumbs on the floor.  I calculate how much I depended on other people for help and feel guilty or “less than” for needing it.  I know I’m not alone in being my harshest critic, and I think that this idea of unconditional worth could be transformational for us all.

What was your immediate reaction to the sentence above?  What kind of emotions did it bring up for you?

What sentence/idea from this chapter resonated the most with you, and why?


Disclaimer: I purchased the book Gifts of Imperfection on my own and am not being compensated for my review of the book or for promoting it. I receive no kickback from any of the Amazon links provided above. I simply love the book and want to share.

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