The Gifts of Imperfection
I've been wanting to write an article about Dr Brené Brown for some time, but I felt that wouldn't be able to do her work justice with my writing skills. However I've been extremely inspired by her books recently, so I'm going to give it a go!
You may well have heard of Brené, since she has given one of the most watched TED talks of all time, with over 10 million views to date.
Brené Brown is a professor at Houston University, where she carries out scientific research into people's feelings, emotions and experiences. She gathers qualitative data from people's stories, and from that weeds out commonalities and themes as to what makes people's experiences different. Specifically, she has been studying what underpins empathy; what makes people live lives that feel connected with others, and what makes others struggle.
In her research she has found certain emotions, such as shame - or unworthiness - are the barriers to empathy, while other traits, such as vulnerability, courage, connection and compassion, are the road to empathy and living wholehearted lives.
What I find so inspiring about Brené is that she learns from her research to then applies this research to her own life and relationships. She then shares her personal experiences, together with her scientific research in her books, in a really funny, clever, wise, entertaining, insightful, relevant and accessible way.
I can't say I've grasped all of what she's written about from the two books of hers that I have read - The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly - partly because there's so much in it, but also partly due to my initial struggle with fitting what she was saying with what I have spent the last 8 years learning from Divine Truth.
However my understanding is that much of her research is about being who we really are, feeling what we really feel, allowing ourselves to feel pain, allowing ourselves to be open and vulnerable. This, to me, fits perfectly with the teachings of Divine Truth, and is all about breaking down our facade, challenging our emotional and physical addictions that help us avoid our pain, and taking responsibility for our own feelings, rather than putting the blame onto others.
Brené's books have certainly helped me understand myself better, such as the patterns that I employ, and the impact this has on myself and others, but also to understand other people in the world, to gain a broader perspective of what we're all going through.
I'm poised, ready and excited to read her most recent book, Rising Strong.
You can watch Brené's TED talks here:
And you can find more about Brené's books and ventures on her website here: http://brenebrown.com/