Updated: Dec 26, 2021
Brené Brown's best-seller “the gifts of imperfection'' is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. What does it mean? It means that you must believe that you are worthy of love and belonging now, right at this minute, as it is, to experience love and belonging. In this article, I will discuss my three main takeaways from the book.
My first takeaway is to cultivate authenticity in order to find true belonging. True belonging is the practice of believing in ourselves so deeply that we can share our most authentic self with the world. Belonging is not fitting in. Fitting in is about assessing the situation and becoming who we need to be. True belonging requires us to be who we are and can’t happen without us loving and accepting ourselves. To have the courage to love ourselves, we need to dare to set boundaries, even when we risk disappointing others. To find true belonging, we need to be brave enough to be authentic and vulnerable. To be vulnerable means to dare to love someone who may or may not love us back, someone whose safety we can’t ensure, someone who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, or someone who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow.
My second takeaway is to cultivate gratitude and joy. Active practice of gratitude invites joy into our life. Active practice of gratitude does not mean “the-attitude-of-gratitude” or “feeling grateful”; it means actively practicing being grateful, for example, keeping a gratitude journal or practicing gratitude meditation or saying grace before meals. “It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” “Sometimes we miss out on bursts of joy because we are too busy chasing down extraordinary moments. Other times we are so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.”
My third takeaway is to cultivate laughter, song, and dance. Laugh whenever you can, because laughter truly is the best medicine. Create a list of creative plays that you can do for hours and bring you joy. Put on some music while cleaning, cooking, or driving. Dare yourself to sing out loud like nobody’s listening. Dare yourself to dance like nobody’s watching.
To summarize, my biggest takeaways are to cultivate authenticity, gratitude, joy, laughter, song, and dance. The more we cultivate these, the stronger we experience love and belonging. Never forget that we are worthy of love and belonging now, right at this minute, as it is. When you wake up in the morning and think that you are enough, no matter what gets done and how much is left undone. When you go to bed at night thinking that you are brave and worthy, while knowing that you are imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid.