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I Thought It Was Just Me


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  • Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    by Leigh Newman

    Can't wait! 

  • Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    by Krista Tippett
  • The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    by Dan Ariely
  • Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    by Harriet Lerner
  • Rhythm And Repose
    Rhythm And Repose

    Tender and beautiful. 

  • Boys & Girls
    Boys & Girls
    by Alabama Shakes

    Love this album! So happy when I saw BrainPicker post this on her site! 

  • City of Refuge
    City of Refuge
    by Abigail Washburn

    Pure magic!

  • Some Nights
    Some Nights
    by Fun.
  • She Ain't Me
    She Ain't Me
    by Carrie Rodriguez

    I'm such a fan. 

  • I'm Your Man
    I'm Your Man
    by Leonard Cohen

    Take this Waltz is on my top ten list of all songs!

  • Babel
    by Mumford & Sons
  • Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)
    Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)

    So totally addicted to this series! Absolutely amazing!

  • Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    starring Rufus Sewell

    Based on your recommendations from a recent blog post! It's another wonderful BBC mystery series! 

  • The Good Wife: The First Season
    The Good Wife: The First Season
    starring Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles, Matt Czuchry, Archie Panjabi

    One of the best shows on TV. Juiliana Marguiles is incredible. 

  • Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    starring Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Lia Williams, Stephanie Cole, Ian McNeice

owning our story

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Reader Comments (26)

beautifully put :)
11.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterColleen Erin Cole
So appreciative of this wise and loving reminder. You might be interested in the Stories of Authenticity video series at Parker Palmer's Center for Courage and Renewal:
11.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Erlichman
I must memorize the words, "loving, belonging and joy make us the most vulnerable." Thank you Brene'.
11.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJan
I totally agree with the idea that people must dig deep and face their demons with the knowledge that no one is perfect and we are all continually learning and overcoming and the cost of running from joy is much worse than the intensity of embracing it. But what about the people I love who are stuck in the past? Those who not only own their story but they cling to it? What about those who wrap a cloak of "victim-hood" around them and allow the things that happened to them as a teenager dictate how they view the world and love their family 50 years later? What about them? How do we get them to stop owning their old story and start writing a new one? Is it possible? Is it too late?
"What about the stuck folks?"

I believe that's a sign that they still feel like characters in their stories, rather than owning it as the narrator. There was a story I used to tell all the time, from my past, and then one day I realized I hadn't in years, and a friend said to me, "Perhaps it didn't have anything left to teach you."

Brene, your quote made me think of Cutting for Stone, a novel I think you'd really enjoy. A character tells a folktale about "owning your slippers" and our bookclub puzzled over it but I believe your quote above sums up exactly what the author intended. Can't wait to share it with them.
11.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre
What about the stuck folks?

Oh how I can relate as someone who has been the one stuck and seen others stuck as well. I think for someone still clinging to the identity of victim, that as deidre notes, they are actually not owning their story but stuck in the role of victim and unable to separate their core identity from the "victim" identity to begin the process of writing a new story.

It is possible and never too late to challenge one's thoughts -- they key ingredient to begin owning our story and writing a new one.

I know this is broad but I hope gives you a glimmer of hope.
Deidre -- I completely agree, highly recommend Cutting For Stone!
This is such a great little nugget that once you know, you wish everybody did. :)
11.17.2011 | Unregistered Commenterkelly
Re: Folks who are Stuck

It is just one of the ways they are imperfect. Everybody is imperfect in their own special way. Try to accept them and love them as they are, where they are and be patient enough to let their journey unfold on it's own terms not yours. <3
11.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandra Fliegelman
Hi Brene,

This is my story today:

Just like you say, it's a hard story for me to own, but not as hard as running from it. Thankyou for the gift of your wisdom and the beautiful words you wrap around it.

11.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha O'Reilly
Brene, Oh how I love this! I just started a 30-day writing challenge, and yep, I feel stripped down to my most vulnerable self. Been quite eye-opening already and it's only Day 2!

I am so inspired by your books, your blogs ... I cant tell enough people about you!

Thank you for all you do.
11.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Sevigny
This is so true. I've started writing a very personal, but very public online memoir. Many of my friends are freaking out because I'm just putting all my dirty laundry out on the internet. But, I find it refreshing to get the stories out AND to let people who've been through similar things that they are not alone and there is hope. There's that saying by Carl Jung:

"I am not what happened to me. I am what I chose to become."

I try to live by that every day. I'm not ashamed of what has happened to me.
11.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEva
Dear Ms Brown, I've been listening to your lectures on ted and youtube a lot these last few weeks. Your thoughts and research on courage, compassion and vulnerability have been particularly helpful to me, as my father passed away 3 weeks ago. I've been having a tough time 'speaking the truth of my heart' about my feelings around his death. I miss him terribly and it's so hard to talk. I was wondering if you have done any research or stories about how people have used your teachings specifically through grieving? All my thanks, Cheryl.
11.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
Good post. I learn something more challenging on completely different blogs everyday.
11.19.2011 | Unregistered Commenterryan
"There is no problem so big that it can't be run away from!" ----Snoopy the beagle
11.19.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Perfect timing. Just what I needed today. Thank you for this gift.
11.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie R.
I realize I am "one of the stuck folks". Not nearly as much as I once was; but I still am holding onto some stuff from loooong ago that I cannot seem to release. Thanks to Brene's work, reading, and therapy I have made great strides. Shame and vulnerability are like prison. You try to break out; but the bars are strong. I realize I miss out on many friendships because I never let anyone get too close. I turn down invites, move from place to place just to avoid getting too close to anyone. It's fear. When they discover the real me, they will shun me. I dislike myself most days; so it's hard to imagine anyone else liking me. I most likely sound like a victim; but I am trying. I just need to get out of my own way. Thank You Brene for your work.
11.21.2011 | Unregistered Commenterapol
Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
11.22.2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatralox
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11.22.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy ford
Interesting blog post..Thanks for sharing...
This is a perfect thing to read on Thanksgiving. Family is so complex and complicated at times...we need all the hope and courage to grow into ourselves--our authentic selves. Thanks for your work!
11.24.2011 | Unregistered Commenterkj wuest
What a beautiful way to look at life's challenges. I am very much in favor of celebrating life's inperfections. Love your blog!
11.26.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I think this is very interesting and informative stuff posted..Thanks for sharing!!
12.9.2011 | Unregistered Commenterlaurahill
Cool Post Thanks a lot for this awesome information. keep working and posting variety of articles.
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02.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia alrn

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