Thursday, April 12, 2018

Besties with Brene

For those of you who have been with me for a while, you know that I love Brene Brown's work.  Her first TedTalk truly changed the way I thought about both my emotions and my relationships.  Her self deprecating humor makes me feel less alone and her honesty cuts to my core.  If you haven't watched her Ted Talk(s)--she has two--you must.  Go ahead, do that now.

Ok, you're with me, right?  She's brilliant, wise, and hilarious.  I want to be Brene's friend.  I know we would be besties.  Besties with Brene.  That's me.

I'm traveling for work this week (Praise the Lord--quiet hotel rooms!), and as I'm driving, I'm listening to Brene's teachings on The Power of Vulnerability.  This is on Audible--I can't recommend it enough.  

One of the ideas that Brene presents is the idea of "foreboding joy."  That often times, many of us, even during the happiest of times, are waiting for the other shoe to drop.  She uses the example of watching your child sleep.  Many of us will watch our child sleep peacefully and think to ourselves, "my gosh..I can't love you any more.  You are the most magnificent creature."  And in the same breath, we imagine something terrible happening to that child.  It's almost like our brains are preparing for something terrible to happen.  It's almost as if we are trying to head off trauma and disappointment at the pass. If we prepare ourselves enough, maybe the bad stuff won't hurt so much.

This resonated with me.  My two miscarriages, especially the second, was traumatic.  Very traumatic.  We thought everything was wonderful.  We shared the good news with our families and celebrated with close friends.  We bought baby clothes and started a Pinterest board.  And then, the worst happened. The baby died, and I began to bleed uncontrollably.  

No amount of "foreboding joy" could have prepared me for that moment.  Nothing could've saved me from the depths of despair, grief, humiliation, shame, and sadness.

So, what Brene says (and I agree with), is stop with the foreboding joy.  You can't prepare yourself for the off chance that something horrific happens. It may happen--or it may not.  Instead, as Brene says, "soften" into joy.  Accept that some moments are just that--joyful.  Use those moments as fuel and a reason to stay grounded.  Moreover, use those moments to shine a light on your gratitude.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Let's use more of our emotional energy to find the gratitude of what we have--not the fear of what may be coming.  It isn't worth it.  

We are worth so much more.

This little girl (Isabelle) saying Mama is a moment I'll always treasure.

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