Lamentations, Lamentations

A few weeks ago I was lamenting to my therapist about how mortified I was to learn of the many grammatical and punctuation errors in my blog. Our conversation went a lot like this:

“I am an English major, for goodness sake.”

“What is the purpose of your blog?”

“Well, aside from being a classroom assignment, I was hoping I might be able to help someone who may be dealing with the same issues.”

He then opened a book and proceeded to read a passage from Daring Greatly, written by Brene Brown. The gist of the passage stated that it was better to have attempted to accomplish a goal, fraught with error, than to have a perfect blog that is never published.

Having often been counseled by him (my therapist) from Brene Brown’s perspective, I finally broke down and bought the book. It is the first physical book I have purchased in a few years, except for textbooks. I usually buy digitally-formatted books, but I knew this was something I really wanted to get my hands into with underlining, handwritten notes, etc. Besides, there is something utterly delicious about holding a hardcopy and turning the pages.

The title of the book is taken from a famous speech by Theodore Roosevelt delivered in Sorbonne, France, in 1910. The speech is titled “Citizenship in a Republic,” but is often referred to as “The Man in the Arena.” A portion of it states, “… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly ….”

The premise of the book is transforming our lives by making ourselves vulnerable. The degree to which we protect ourselves from vulnerability reveals our level of fear and disconnection. “We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be­–a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation–with courage and the willingness to engage. Rather than sit on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.” – Brene Brown

I hardly wait to dive into this book: Just as soon as I put the pencil down after the last final exam of the semester.

Brown, Brene. Daring Greatly. Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House, New York, New York. 2012. 1-3

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