I’m a reader. There’s always a book in my bag, along with a stack on the bedside table, beside my comfy chair, under the coffee table, and not to mention the crowded rows of the bookshelf along with the lonely boxes stuffed in the basement.
I covet book club invitations and early reader editions, and knew I’d found a keeper when the I found out the HBH had just as much of a love affair with the printed word as me.
Of course, with this love of books comes its own set of problems as well: I can’t not finish a book. It’s almost like I feel bad for the inanimate object (and its author, I suppose), so alongside horrible plot progression and poor character development, I become slave to finishing what I’ve started – which brings us back to the original cycle of simultaneously reading eight books at a time, while additional stacks cover every free inch of space in our little 1100-square foot house.
But sometimes, every once in a while, there’s a book that I read with ultimate purpose, chewing through it as slowly and deliberately as I can. It screams against that part of me that so badly desires to quick, quick, finish! so I can get on to the next book at hand. And this treasure I keep it on the side table as long as possible – simply because I don’t want its goodness to end.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown is just that read. Brown is a shame and empathy researcher, and here she writes about the courage of that exquisite emotion, vulnerability. What does it mean to live our lives wholeheartedly from a place of worthiness, believing that we are enough?
I am enough. I am enough. I am enough.
Do we (and especially as women, I think), truly believe and live that single sentence of truth?
In chapter 1, Brown writes on the theme of scarcity, which is, as she writes something that we “get” because we live it. We live in a culture of “enough’s”: I’m not good enough or skinny enough or powerful enough or… the list goes on. And what does it create within me (especially with the hyper-connectedness of the Internet)? A fear of the ordinary.
Oh, to be ordinary.
I feared the ordinary leaving ministry, going from a place of being known and understood, recognized for my gifts and talents, an extraordinary, sparkly, fabulous me of sorts!
“I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed,” she writes, “to be loveable, to belong or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”
But being ordinary is good enough. The ordinary of our slower, smaller and more intentional life is good enough – the walks around our neighborhood and the feeding of roasted pears and banana puree is enough. Learning to be present in the moment, noticing beauty in the little things is enough, and is worth more than the silly number of “likes” I get on a Facebook status or an Instagram picture alike. My son is enough, and in and through all of this, I am reminded that in my own ordinariness, I too am enough.
And you know what? You are as well. So believe it.
You are enough just as you are.
Brene Brown really didn’t pay me to write this little 600-word promo of her book – in fact, she doesn’t know me from Adam (though I wouldn’t mind if she mailed me a BFF-necklace, I’ll be honest). But I’m telling you, Daring Greatly only gets better. (You think I’m airing my dirty laundry? Not at all – and she gets to this in chapter 4 – as I’ve chosen to live part of my life somewhat publicly, I’m vulnerable with you about what got me.) And now it’s your turn. What book is changing you?0