Author: Brené Brown (Bio) | Expected Publication:September 12, 2017 by Random House | Series: N/A | Length: 208 pages | Genre: Self-Help, Relationships| ISBN:9780812995848 |Source: Amazon | Book: Amazon (here)
“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. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”
This book took me way longer to read (over a month) then it really should have. I found myself struggling to stayed consistently engaged which concerned me more than anything else. I immediately began to doubt the research of Dr. Brown and started to form my scathing review of how lacking her book was. As I am not one to not finish a book no matter how terrible it is I persisted, and I can say it was one of the best choices I’ve made recently. While the beginning is slow to start and in some areas Dr. Brown drones on, I began to feel the genuine parts of her spirit that she poured into her writing. I realized that as she wrote she is not seeking attention nor acceptance, but is simply making herself vulnerable in order to offer herself on the path less traveled.
As I’m mentioned in previous reviews I am not a sucker for self-help books, yet lately I’ve been drawn to a distinct selection of books meant to empower the human spirit. I can say for sure that Dr. Brown does this here. While she challenged some of my notions for how the world is, she also opened my eyes to be willing to accept a certain level of responsibility for the way I choose to interact with the world around me. Dr. Brown offers four unique approaches to walk in the wilderness:
- People Are Hard to Hate Close Up. Move In
- Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil
- Hold Hands. With Strangers
- Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart
I won’t spoil the approaches because Dr. Brown takes the time to paint such a unique and effective picture in explaining each of these. My only advice is to read her book with an open mind and be ready to have your way of thinking challenged. I did not agree with every point she made, but I did understand the perspective and angle she was writing from. This is the first book I have read of her’s but I do intend to read her others.
Thank you Dr. Brown for your work and continue to be one who blazes a path in the wilderness. While we each need to walk our own path it allows us to take heart that someone has been there and is offering to be a guide on the path.
I rated this book a 3/5.