Book Recommendation: Rising Strong

 “A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
Brené Brown-


Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Page Number: 336

I’m going to get a little personal here.  I’ve been known to read self help books during my life on Planet Earth.  Why?  Because when you’re faced with dealing with traumatic events which I plan to write about later in a fictionalized story, there’s a whole bunch of bullshit that comes with it later.  This bullshit is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy because the damage lasts forever.  I’m not one to wallow in self pity for too long, and let’s face it, we all do it at one point or another in our lives.  Some more than others, but as hard it is to get up the next morning and do it all over again, most of us make the choice to do just that.  This book was recommended to me by my massage therapist when I lived in Los Angeles.  I miss her.  Sigh.

Brené Brown’s book offers insight about what it means to be a person who falls down and gets back up or a person who fails over and over but still continues on the journey or a person who realizes you need to look at the sum of all the parts to make a decent functioning whole.  Like Brown suggests in her quote above, it’s necessary to have boundaries with others and authenticity in yourself.  I’m at a point in my life where I’m becoming more selective with what I retain concerning advice others give me and what I’m not willing to hang onto because it doesn’t benefit me.  This includes family and friend advice.  Thanks but no thanks. 

We all carry our personal shameful baggage, and we all handle it in different ways.  The biggest turnoff is seeing and knowing people managing it by instilling fear in others via aggression and other methods less noticeable.  I tend to do things alone, but Brown comments that people need other people in their lives.  I agree with this because humans are social creatures, but it took me a long time to realize this part of my life.  Being in a committed relationship is something I never thought would happen.  This isn’t to say there weren’t hard times because we had them many times over, to hell and back, but still I call him my roommate.  It’s better that way and besides I know how well we get along.  If not, we couldn’t talk about our non-existent daughter called Tatters (he provided the terrible name).  I don’t think I need to say anymore about how thankful society should be that neither of us wanted kids from the start.  So yes, read the book because Brown resonates with many people.  The dissenters out there, don’t read it because frankly, she understands she’s not for everyone.

If you want to take it to the next level, check her out on Netflix documentary titled The Call to Courage.  It is one hour and 16 minutes long.


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