“True belonging doesn’t require that we change who we are; it requires that we be who we are.”
If you’re into self-help/psychology/spirituality books as much as I am, are you in for a treat! Brené Brown has published her long-awaited 4th book — and it’s too fitting with the mission of my blog to not share. The title? BRAVING THE WILDERNESS: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone.
Venture out to your nearest bookstore (or the”wild” Amazon) and GET YOUR COPY now — you will not regret it. I bought mine tonight, and while only having read the first 2 chapters (through pg. 41), I already am enchanted by Brene’s messages and examples (equally, if not more so, than her other books I love). Heart is stirred. ?
If you don’t know who Brené Brown is, she is a Texan researcher/storyteller/speaker known for groundbreaking scientific studies on shame, vulnerability, love, authenticity, and other raw emotions. She’s got a Masters in Social Work and a Ph.D. to boot. All three of her former books are #1 New York Times Bestsellers and her discussion on vulnerability is one of the top 5 Most-Watched TED Talks of all time.
For those skeptical of “self-help” gurus, rest assured, Brené is far from serving up “fluff” — she’s done her research (literally and qualitatively) for 16 years. . .notably recognized across the media and nation, and still paving on. Her strong-and-soft approach hits both women and men to the core.
Hence, why I’m sharing these two new Brené Brown interviews from a few of my favorite male & female podcasters/YouTubers: Marie Forleo of MarieTV and Lewis Howes of School of Greatness. Brené shares her heart with both and voices what it means to belong and “brave” the wilderness. It’s fascinating noting the similarities and differences between a more feminine perspective (Marie’s) and a more masculine one (Lewis’s) on what connection and rejection feel like:
As seen from the videos, you can gather that Braving the Wilderness taps into the core of CONNECTION: first and foremost with yourself, and THEN with others who value the “true” You. Your self-journey becomes more and more grounded as you embrace, accept, and OWN your unique self: personality, inner gifts, opinions, values, flaws. . . regardless of the social risks and judgment from doing so.
As you read this book, think of your relationship with yourself and others (whether rocky, strong, real, or forced). This can be classmates. Work colleagues. Teammates. Significant others. Strangers you interact with. A group you’re a part of. Family (the most emotional up-and-down rollercoaster relationship of all).
Like Brené said about herself, I’m also a full-fledged introvert — and have come to own that. I CRAVE and value time to myself the most. I need space to self-reflect and not have people around (hence, why I live alone, and LOVE it). I choose smaller, quality catch-ups with friends (which fill me up) rather than gathering a big posse and heading out to a party or on the town (which often drains me and feel more like work than fun). So decide who you are, what lights you up, and what you won’t stand for.
Whether you’re popular or a “lone wolf”, Braving the Wilderness will still get your mind reflecting on both pasts and prsent groups you interact(ed) with often, clash(ed) with, felt awkward with, or stood on the sidelines while still being a “part of:. Sometimes we feel a kinship and genuine joy in the company of certain groups or individuals; others, you may feel a mismatch, a”faking it” or a sense of unease — like you’re not truly feeling or being yourself.
I’ll end with Brené’s research definition of”belonging”, taken from the book:
“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are” (pg. 40).
Really, no matter where you go or are in life, you can always feel right at “home” — in your body, mind, and soul.
Are you interested in (or already) reading Braving the Wilderness by Brené? What’s your opinion on finding “yourself” (both literally when in solitude and/or with others)? Share your thoughts below!