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“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging. Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other.

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I picked up this book because it was listed as a must-read book by someone I respect and whose tastes are similar to mine. I went to it completely blind and when the author mentioned Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling in the opening chapter I knew I was going to like it. 

“The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid—all in the same moment. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, being both fierce and kind.”

The book examines the meaning of belonging, what does it mean? How do you achieve it? Should you seek it? It also explores other topics such as solitude, pain, love, and community. The author is a social scientist who shares with us her experiences and insights.

Im glad I picked up this title. If you want to learn more about the author Brené Brown you can watch her TED Talk video @The Power of Vulnerability@. 

~~~EDIT: forgot to mention I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by the author, I like it when authors read their own books. Also, there is a HUGE Harry Potter spoiler (book 6) (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)].

It was ok with me because Ive already read the series but I want to warn other readers in case you havent yet (BTW, what are you waiting for to read it?). That spoiler section really moved me, it touched me and brought tears to my eyes, really loved it.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Brene Brown’s new book “Braving The Wilderness” is her most vital and necessary book yet. The book’s subject is how to build and maintain connections and a sense of belonging while also staying true to ourselves and our beliefs. Through her research studies, personal experiences, and case studies combined with her remarkable perceptiveness and wisdom she provides essential directions through the wilderness of loneliness and disconnection. In today’s climate of divisiveness and separation, this is a book everyone should read. But it’s not some bitter medicine to swallow. As evidenced by her massively popular TED talks and books, her writing style and the accompanying research resonate with people and feed a real hunger for understanding, hope, and healing. Highly recommended.

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This book came to me at just the right time. I found it meaningful, heartfelt, and the themes of belonging and being brave really resonated with me.

I know Brené Brown has quite the cult following, but this was the first book of hers I have seriously read. A few years ago I had The Gifts of Imperfection foisted on me at work, and I was underwhelmed by the book and ended up hate-skimming it. A few friends had loved Daring Greatly, and now that I have read and appreciated Braving the Wilderness, Im ready to give another Brown book a try.

However, I will admit this isnt a perfect book. Brown tells a lot of stories, both hers and from friends and from her research in social work, but she repeats her themes a lot, and she doesnt give many specific details from her actual research. I was trying to describe this book to my husband, and struggled to accurately characterize it. Its part self-help, part memoir, part-psychology, and part inspirational.

The reason this book spoke to me, however, was because the discussion about the need to belong was so impactful that I texted several friends about the book. Its a good book to read during these divisive political times, and I would recommend this book to anyone trying to survive the Trump era with their mental health intact.

Favorite Quote
@Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you dont belong. You will always find it because youve made that your mission. Stop scouring peoples faces for evidence that youre not enough. You will always find it because youve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we dont negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.@

مشاهده لینک اصلی
It ended TOO SOON. *cries silently*
Browns words are life-affirming, challenging. Her books tend to re-verberate in my soul, in my mind--so Im actively savoring them as I go about my day.

I belong to myself--and I belong to no one. Speak truth to bullshit. Be civil.

Pithy, perhaps--cliched, maybe. But theres simplicity in the brevity here, as one knows Brown has done an avalanche worth of data analysis to back up her simplified phrases.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Im a fan of Browns work (and TED talk), but this was just okay. I dont think she had enough pulled together/thought through for a full release, so it feels not as complete. As if rushed for a deadline.

I like the ideas of being brave with ones conviction, and willing to put yourself out there, even if youre alone to stand up for what you believe, but this still felt very *white* and from a protected, @majority@ space.

Two pieces that frustrated me.

A) At one point, Brown tells the story of a pastor that speaks up for LGBTQ rights. This story is to help illustrate how one, even in the face of the (potentially homophobic christian) community they serve, they are will to stand up in support of others. This was described as Bravery, which it is for those who are in a community that encourages you to stay quiet in your majority comfort.

What would have *also* been nice is to pair stories of people coming from majority/dominant culture along with those who have had to break out into the wilderness much much earlier, out of necessity, because they are NOT the majority. Because they are queer, or disabled, are not white, etc. The narrative around bravery is @different@ when it feels less like a choice, but its no less Brave. The focusing on the straight pastor supporting LGBTQ rights, but not including a story of an actual LGBTQ person alongside it felt more...performative for the sake of the narrative. (Not that the pastor is performative. Just how her story is being used here.)

At one point, those Braving the Wilderness are likened to being at a outdoor dance party, like, @I want to go to There@- the place where people are free, dancing and Brave, but without also giving time to those that are out there dancing because For Real, they have Zero choice, and had not been given the option to go Inside. So, some are out in the Wilderness making the best of what that means, and yes, sometimes that means dancing. Some might be out in the wilderness and are sad, or lonely, or are just doing their laundry, but theyre still in the Wilderness, because they are living their Non-Majority lives. It felt like for Majority people, like say, straight people, white people, abled people, they can Choose the Wilderness, and then have the cool option of touristing to the Wilderness Dance Party, but then still not really fathom the chasm the rests between those that Choose to go back Inside, like when it gets cold or really really hard, and those that still have to be outside no matter what.

B) The second point that really frustrated me was the call for civility in these discussions as we Brave the Wilderness. This part felt really really White Lady Liberal Feminism. Like, @If only you told me that criticism about my behavior in a nicer tone, or if you did it in a compliment sandwich, I would more likely listen to you tell me about that racist thing I just did.@

I think calling for people to be civil is fine. Lets be nice to each other, sure. BUT, if its being pushed and also its not discussed how calls for civility are often weaponized by white people, especially White Women, as a way to control the conversation (and STILL end up oppressing others.) I feel like white people especially, and Im a white woman, need to walk into those @Lets be civil@ conversations with a full understanding of how we abuse those specific calls to action for our own favor- to protect us, make us less uncomfortable, and put the burden on others to have to adjust to what we think is Real Civil Discourse. I found Browns call for civility without cautioning about how that argument often abuses people of color to be troubling.

So, for me, as a queer disabled person, I found this book is probably @nicer@ and more inspiring if youre coming from the Majority space. Where it can feel novel/scary to stand up for someone who is different than you.

If youre coming from a not-majority space though, it may not feel as connected as you may wish it to be.

My last point that frustrated me is that I wish Brown showed more data. Often she writes, @The data showed us that people feel like X,@ but never lists more concrete data. its very general about big points, and it normally made me wish for something slightly heavier on the science part of social science.

I listened to the audio version, and thought Brown did a fine job on the narration. I like her voice, so it was nice to listen to.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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