Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to make up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.  It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worth of love and belonging.  – Brene Brown

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead is one of the best books that I have read this year.  One of my friends, whom I respect recommended the book, and I went home and googled Brene Brown.  She has numberous videos on youtube from TED events that all youth workers need to watch in order to understand and show empathy to this up and coming generation.  

Daring Greatly is a book about shame.  It’s about being vulnerable in a world of shame.  We look at this culture that we currently live in, and see coming up, and it’s easy to judge that we are narcissist.  We really are narcissists.  Brene Brown states that the shame based fear of being ordinary is pushing us to be narcissists.  She states, ” I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary.  I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be loveable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”  We have become a culture that is only as good as the Facebook or instagram likes we get.  We are so afraid that we aren’t _____________ enough.  It’s true.  We are all shamed to think we really aren’t enough.

In the rest of the book, Brene Brown talks about the shields we put up to protect ourselves from truly being vulnerable.  She also talks about how to combat shame and truly live a wholehearted life.  Daring Greatly is a book that youth workers need to read, and church leaders need to read.

This book isn’t a Christian book.  But it’s a book that all Christians should read.  When I look at Paul in the Epistles, he is as vulnerable as it gets.  When I read in 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 he states, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  In our weakness or in our vulnerability we are able to see Christ at work.  We have become self-sufficient and self reliant.   We need to have courage and get in the ring to battle each and every day.  Your church needs you to be vulnerable, the students you work with need vulnerability.    

Our favourite quotes from Daring Greatly

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

“When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”

“What we know matters but who we are matters more.”

“Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”

“We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying.”

“Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.”

“Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?”



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