Braving with Brené

I saw a book on our coffee table one day.

wilderness book
Cover of book Braving the Wilderness. Photo by M. Fleming

I recognized the author. A couple years ago, I had watched a TED talk she gave on vulnerability. It’s actually one of the most-viewed TED talks of all time.

Back to the book Braving the Wilderness, I asked the reader of the book on our coffee table if it was any good.

“I think you’d like it,” she said.

So I started reading.

“What do you think so far?” she asked.

“I’m not sure I can relate. I’ve never felt like a teenager girl who doesn’t fit in,” I said.

“Well, there must be times in your life when you feel you don’t belong,” she said.

“All the time! But it doesn’t really bother me.”

Well, yes and no.

Belonging to ourselves means being called to stand alone—to brave the wilderness of uncertainty, vulnerability, and criticism.

I have seen this wilderness.
I have been to this wilderness.
I have become this wilderness.

And you’re right, Brené:
It’s a difficult place.
It’s a desolate place.
It’s a lonely place.
It’s an unpleasant, painful, and awful place.

I try to run from this place.

Yet it pulls me back.

Because you’re right, Brené:
It’s a beautiful place.
It’s a mystical place.
It’s a daring place.
It’s an amazing, vibrant, and loving place.

It’s where I want to be.

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