Week 46

Here are some highlights for leading into Week 46 🙂

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    Of course, perspective is a function of experience. I didn’t have the experience to put what was happening around me in context, and my parents were just trying to survive without inflicting catastrophic damage, so I don’t think it dawned on them to share their perspectives with us. …

    Sometimes the most dangerous thing for kids is the silence that allows them to construct their own stories—stories that almost always cast them as alone and unworthy of love and belonging.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers. Because true belong only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that 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.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    Carl Jung argued that a paradox is one of our most valued spiritual possessions and a great witness to the truth.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    We feel shame around being lonely—as if feeling lonely means there’s something wrong with us.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    In a meta-analysis of studies on loneliness, researchers Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy B. Smith, and J. Bradley Layton found the following: Living with air pollution increases your odds of dying early by 5 percent. Living with obesity, 20 percent. Excessive drinking 30 percent. And living with loneliness? It increases our odds of dying early by 45 percent.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    In the case of the United States, our three greatest fault lines—cracks that have grown and deepened due to wilful neglect and a collective lack of courage—are race, gender, and class. The fear and uncertainty flowing from collective trauma of all kinds have exposed those gaping wounds in a way that’s been both profoundly polarizing and necessary.

    These are conversations that need to happen; this is discomfort that must be felt. Still, as much as it’s time to confront these and other issues, we have to acknowledge that our lack of tolerance for vulnerable, tough conversations is driving our self-sorting and disconnection.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    David Smith, the author of Less Than Human, explains that dehumanization is a response to conflicting motives. We want to harm a group of people, but it goes against our wiring as members of a social species to actually harm, kill, torture, or degrade other humans. …

    Maiese defines dehumanization as “the psychological process of demonizing the enemy, making them seem less than human and hence not worthy of humane treatment.” Dehumanizing often starts with creating an enemy image. As we take sides, lose trust, and get angrier and angrier, we not only solidify an idea of our enemy, but also start to lose our ability to listen, communicate, and practice even a modicum of empathy. …

    Dehumanizing and holding people accountable are mutually exclusive. Humiliation and dehumanizing are not accountability or social justice tools, they’re emotional off-loading at best, emotional self-indulgence at worst.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    People often silence themselves, or “agree to disagree” without fully exploring the actual nature of the disagreement, for the sake of protecting a relationship and maintaining connection. But when we avoid certain conversations, and never fully learn how the other person feels about all of the issues, we sometimes end up making assumptions that not only perpetuate but deepen misunderstandings, and that can generate resentment. …

    The key is to learn how to navigate conflicts or differences of opinion in a way that deepens mutual understanding, even if two people still disagree.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    As I briefly touched on earlier, one of the biggest drivers of the sorting that’s happening today is the proliferation of the belief that “you’re either with us or you’re against us.” …

    The only true option is to refuse to accept the terms of the argument by challenging the framing of the debate. But make no mistake; this is opting for the wilderness. Why? Because the argument is set up to silence dissent and draw lines in the sand that squelch debate, discussion, and questions—the very process that we know lead to effective problem solving.

    Our silence, however, comes at a very high individual and collective cost. Individually, we pay with our integrity. Collectively, we pay with divisiveness, and even worse, we bypass effective problem solving. Answers that have the force of emotion behind them but are not based in fact rarely provide strategic and effective solutions to nuanced problems. We normally don’t set up false dilemmas because we’re intentionally bullshitting; we often rely on this device when we’re working from a place of fear, acute emotion, and lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, fear, acute emotion, and lack of knowledge also provide the perfect set-up for the uncivil behaviour. This is why the bullshit/incivility cycle can become endless.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    We can also believe we’re responding from real data and have no idea that there’s nothing to back up what we’re saying.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    Civility is claiming for and caring for one’s identity, needs, and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process. … [Civility] is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements. It is political in the sense that it is a necessary prerequisite for civic action. But it is political, too, in the sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and no-body’s is ignored.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    Carl Jung wrote, “Only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life.”

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    Common enemy intimacy is counterfeit connection and the opposite of true belonging. If the bond we share with others is simply that we hate the same people, the intimacy we experience is often intense, immediately gratifying, and an easy way to discharge outrage and pain. It is not, however, fuel for real connection.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    The foundation of courage is vulnerability—the ability to navigate uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It takes courage to open ourselves up to joy. In fact, as I’ve written in other books, I believe joy is probably the most vulnerable emotion we experience. We’re afraid that if we allow ourselves to feel it, we’ll get blindsided by disaster or disappointment.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    But denying our children the opportunity to gain wisdom directly from the trees and dance in the moonlight with the other high lonesome renegades and limping outlaws is about our own fear and comfort. Their hearts need to know the wild too.

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    There will be times when standing alone feels too hard, too scary, and we’ll doubt our ability to make our way through the uncertainty. Someone, somewhere, will say, “Don’t do it. You don’t have what it takes to survive the wilderness.” This is when you reach deep into your wild heart and remind yourself, “I am the wilderness.”

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    When a man is physically present but emotionally absent, a girl’s heart can feel quite hollow and helpless.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    He’d use the word divorce as if it were his freedom pass—not just from my mom but from me as well.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    I needed truth to inform what I believed about myself. Otherwise, what I believed about myself would become a fragile, flimsy, faulty foundation. The beliefs we hold should hold us up even when life feels like it’s falling apart.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Here’s the deal . . . when my identity is tied to circumstances I become extremely insecure because circumstances are unpredictable and ever-changing. I rise and fall with successes and failures. I feel treasured when complimented but tormented when criticized. I’m desperate to keep a relationship that makes me feel valuable. Then I’m constantly terrified of that person slipping away. Because I don’t just feel like I’m losing them . . . I feel like I’m losing a big part of myself as well.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    The mind feasts on what it focuses on. What consumes my thinking will be the making or the breaking of my identity.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Giving with strings of secret expectations attached is the greatest invitation to heartbreak. That’s not love. That’s manipulation.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    I’d think, I am doing everything I can to protect my marriage, but then watch a movie with so much airbrushed love that I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed with my reality.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Desperate for my aloneness not to become painfully obvious to others, I knew I had to look busy. And intentional. And effortlessly okay with my solo status.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Isn’t it strange how you can literally rub shoulders with lots of people but feel utterly alone? Proximity and activity don’t always equal connectivity.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    My flesh begs me to believe that short-term happiness is worth the long-term misery.

    But I’ve discovered something about defeating the flesh. If I fill my stomach with healthy foods before being tempted with the pasta, I can say no. It’s so much easier to turn away a dish of pasta if you’re completely full already. But if you are desperately hungry, a dish of just about anything is hard to turn away. Our souls and stomachs are alike in this way.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    What we see will violate what we know unless what we know dictates what we see.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    It’s impossible to hold up the banners of victim and victory at the same time.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Decide you’ll only ask questions that help you move forward instead of feeling stuck in the reasons something happened. “What” questions increase our ability to become more self-aware, while “why” questions only focus on things out of our control.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Wisdom makes decisions today that will still be good for tomorrow. Don’t let today’s reaction become tomorrow’s regret.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Inspiration and information without personal application will never amount to transformation.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    We must feel the pain to heal the pain. If we never allow ourselves to feel it, we won’t acknowledge it’s there.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    One of the most damaging elements in relationships is pride. That need to be the expert, the right one, the most knowledgeable—it pulls us down into a pit of pride we probably would never label as such. And because pride is so hard to see, here’s a hint of how to know it’s there: The less we feel we need to address pride in our lives, the more it has already blinded us.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Wisdom seeks to see someone else’s vantage point even if I don’t agree with that person’s perspective. But only from their perspectives can you strategize about how to meet the other people on common ground. Foolishness refuses to acknowledge there’s any other way to look at something but mine.

  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

    Nothing will give you emotional laryngitis like living in close proximity to someone who refuses to listen. Having emotions but no voice chokes the life out of relationships.

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