The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown is a guide book on living wholeheartedly (so I’m not sure why she called it, The Gifts of Imperfection). Anyway, I enjoyed Brene’s insights, the stories from her life and research, and most of all her honesty. Her writing never comes across as arrogant, which it could, as she is a highly qualified academic.
The first points in Brene’s book are about the importance of courage, compassion and connection, as she believes this is where we find our sense of being worthy of love and acceptance, and the sense that “I am enough.” From there she spends a chapter on each of the guideposts, that she thinks we need for wholeheartedly living. Each chapter has suggestions and ideas, for making deliberate and better choices about our lifestyles.
1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
2. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
10. Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
Overall, it’s easy to read, insightful and hopeful.
There is one further thought I’d like to add. Brene, writes from the perspective of a researcher, even though I believe she is a Christian. Her research amongst wholehearted people indicated spirituality added to their sense of wholeheartness, yet it seemed a bit like an optional extra. For me, my whole sense of feeling worthy and that I am enough comes from my belief in God. If the God who made the universe, sent his Son to earth to die for the sins of the world—if that God cares that much about me, then I am worthy of love, acceptance and belonging. I am enough.