Monday, October 19, 2015

Rising Strong

"Rising Strong" by Brene Brown

This book is all about the struggle and rising above.  We all fall, we all make mistakes, but the brave of us are willing to get back up and try again.  It takes courage to be willing to fall again, courage to try where you have failed before.  In the process of falling we can learn so much if we are just willing to be open to the lessons.  This book taught me to pay attention to what I am feeling and investigate the why behind the emotions, to remember that failling is not failure, and there are lessons to be learned while I am on the ground.  "But I am learning that the process of struggling and navigating hurt has as much to offer us as the process of being brave and showing up."  I think if we can remember that pain has something to teach us, it isn't as painful.  "The opposite of recognizing that we're feeling something is denying our emotions.  The oppostie of being curious is disengaging.  When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don't go away; instead, they own us, they define us.  Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending-to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes.  This is what happened.  This is my truth.  And I will choose how this story ends."  We have power then and are not owned by our emotions and cirucumstances.  We each have the power within us, with God's help, to choose.  We can't choose the family we were born into, or things that have happened to us, but we can choose how we will let those circumstances shape us.  "And just so we don't miss it in this long list of all the ways we can numb ourselves, there's always staying busy: living so hard and fast that the truths of our lives can't catch up with us.  We fill every ounce of white space with something so there's no room or time for emotion to make itself known."    I think so many of us are doing this very thing, keeping busy so that we don't have to deal with emotions.  "Just because someone isn't willing or able to love us, it doesn't mean that we are unloveable."  BIG truth right there.  We are all loveable, God created each and every one of us in His image, and He loves us all.  "Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them."  Practicing our values rather than just saying what we value is the hard part.  "It means that we stop respecting and evaluating people based on what we think they should accomplish, and start respecting them for who they are and holding them accountable for what they're actually doing."  "Our silence about grief serves no one.  We can't heal if we can't grieve; we can't forgive if we can't grieve.  We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend."  The only way to deal with grief is to grieve, and it hurts and yet it heals.  "When you look away from a homeless person, you diminish their humanity and your own."  We think if we don't look they won't really affect us.  I have learned a gift I can give anyone is to smile and look them in the eyes.  This lets the person know that I see them, I see their suffering and am not just trying to look past it.  "Connection doesn't exist without giving and receiving.  We need to give and we need to need."  "Sometimes the most uncomfortable learning is the most powerful."  Falling down hurts and we can learn while we are down to rise strong.  

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