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Thursday, September 20, 2012


Disclosure: I have been compensated for my participation in this BlogHer Book Club discussion, but the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Sometimes I get a research-based book through BlogHer's book club and I groan as I try to get through the introduction. I wonder if I'll be able to wrap my head around the approach, reasoning and intent behind the author's research, and if I'll be able to relate to a topic about which s/he is passionate.

With Brené Brown's book "Daring Greatly," I found something that resonated with me on page eight. She writes, "Connection is why we're here. We are hardwired to connect with others, and it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering."

That's exactly what I'm missing right now in my life, so I agreed 100% with this statement from Brown. "Daring Greatly" is about learning to accept our vulnerabilities, and how to grow in so doing. When I notcied there was a chapter geared toward parents, I actually skipped to it after the intro and read through it first. Again, I found statements that connected with me which are too good not to share: "Shame is so painful for children because it is inextricably linked to the fear of being unlovable... feeling unlovable is a threat to survival. It's trauma" (225). The shame tactic was often used by my dad while I was growing up, and it's a hard thing to overcome. Brown reminds parents to criticize the undesirable behavior exhibited by a child, rather than the child him/herself.

Just a few pages later, I once again felt like Brown hit the nail on the head. She states, "...normalizing [a child's experience/behavior] is one of the most powerful shame-resilience tools that we can offer our children... There's something sacred that happens between a parent and a child when the parents says, 'Me too!' or shares a personal story that relates to their child's struggle" (229).

Even if you are not yet influencing children in your own life, Brown has some wonderful insight (based on 12 years of research) that is beneficial to any reader. In the very first chapter relating to scarcity, Brown reminds readers that "The opposite of scarcity in our lives isn't 'more,' but 'enough.' And being content with what we do have" (emphasis added, 29). Couldn't we all use a reminder like that? Especially in this digital age where it is so easy to compare ourselves to others. Let's remember that having enough is better than having more.

Although, adding this book to your collection might be a good idea.

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