I ADORE the work of social scientist Brene Brown, so “Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone” was no exception! Her depth of research with regards to the concepts of vulnerability, courage, shame and belonging, among others, never ceases to amaze me. It’s the type of research and communication of that research that is sure to tug on your heartstrings and expose ALL. THE. FEELINGS! It is literature that inevitably has you self-reflecting and celebrating the qualities of yourself that should not be frowned upon, yet often are!
The moment you crack the spine of one of her well-crafted books, you're in for a real treat! While I can expect to feel a variety of emotions as I read, I know I can expect that my heart will be filled with great reassurance; the type of reassurance that helps reinforce the varied types of decisions I have made in my life thus far, as well as the values I continue to stand behind.
With this particular literature, Brene Brown dives into what it means to truly ‘Brave the Wilderness’; while each and every one of us yearn to feel like we belong, she reinforces the fact that to truly belong “is not about fitting in, pretending, or making the people around us comfortable because that’s safer. The four practices of true belonging require us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be with people without sacrificing who we are and what we value."[i] Amen!
I love how Brene explains that true belonging really comes down to belonging to yourself; being true to yourself and your values[ii]. At times, she encourages, standing up for your beliefs and values might mean you are left to be standing alone; it is in such moments that you demonstrate your greatest integrity and reward yourself with a great degree of self-RESPECT[iii].
With respect to the title of the book, Brene likens this personal search (path) for a deeper sense of belonging to self to that of the 'wilderness', with its inherent solitude and unpredictable nature[iv].
Without saying any more, it’s time for you to take a read! If you’ve heard of Brene Brown and/or have read any of her other literature, you know this one will be a gem, too!
Some of my other faves include:
The Gifts of Imperfection
To view Brene's TED Talk Listening toShame, click here.
To view her TED Talk The Power of Vulnerabililty, click here.