Books that will Rock Your Relationships: Book One
Hi Lyssa here. Well, I want to talk about books that will rock your relationships. And when I talk about relationships, I’m talking not only about intimate loving relationships, I may be also talking about intimate, loving family relationships, relationships with your children, relationships with friends, relationships with coworkers, maybe your boss. There are multiple places where we have relationships. And so these books are all books that I think support not only those of us looking for deeper loving relationships with an intimate partnership. But also for all of us, and whatever stage of relationship that we find ourselves. So the first book is this book by Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection.
I really like this book and as you might be able to see, I have made a ton of notes on this book. There are so many elements that are rich and filled with really good inquiries and insights to help us start to get a handle on some of the things that might be getting in the way of us showing up authentically. And showing up so that we can be present for healthy relationships with any of the people that we might be having relationships with.
So again, this book is really about starting with yourself and rocking the relationship that you have with yourself.
Starting with Ourselves
There are a lot of ideas in the book that surround this concept of perfection. And when I think about the work that I’ve done with people, perfection is really, it is sort of the easy way that we discuss the things that we were working really hard on. Trying to make better, but, but why is it that we’re trying to make these things better? Like, what’s below that? And often there’s this seduction of “If I’m perfect, then nobody will ever be able to talk badly about me. Nobody will ever question me. Nobody will ever think that I’m less than.” If I’m perfect, then I protect myself from a ton of nonsense out there in the world. And I call it the seduction because I think it is really, it is the thing that we want… to be perfect. Like there’s this element inside of us, if I could just be perfect, it would be so awesome. And yet, there is no such thing as perfection. What there is, is a continuum of courage.
There is a fear that is generated in being judged by other people. All the way to the courage of being willing to stand up authentically as who you actually are. And, and in this book, Brene Brown really talks about how shame gets activated. And how that is underlying this idea of never being enough. And, and I really love the piece.
Love and Belonging
Also in the book, we’re looking at this idea of love and belonging. So like even if you’re walking into your office and you’re looking at your coworkers, you may not need them to be “in love with you,” like that’s not what you’re looking for necessarily. Yet, there is this sense of, that I belong, did I am part of this, this team of people, that I am part of this, this grouping of human beings who show up at this place every day to work. And wanting to have that sense of really experiencing a feeling of safety that comes with feeling like we belong.
And here’s the kicker. If we are really saying that it’s important to us that we want to fully experience love and belonging, then we also must actually believe that we’re worthy of love and belonging. So I don’t care if you’re going into your office, when you walk in there if you don’t believe that your coworkers like you or respect you, and that’s the narrative that you’re telling yourself, then you end up either playing smaller or you end up being kind of a brat. The reality is that is your own shame trigger getting activated. And if you believe in your own worthiness, and if you feel it in your bones that you’re worthy of belonging, you tend to choose places to be where you feel like you belong. But the other thing is you let go of this attachment that other people are going to agree with you 100% or that they’re going to like everything that you have to say or that they even should. I don’t know that they should.
So as human beings, we spend a lot of time looking for things that will help us feel like we belong. Often it’s an if… if I were with someone, someone to help me feel like I belong or somewhere where I feel like I belong. And in that end we’re constantly seeking this sense of worthiness. Am I worthy to stand here? Am I worthy to show up? Am I worthy even to share these ideas with you? And, and we then postpone it to the future. And I don’t know if you’ve met any people like this, but you know, we’ll, are you happy? I’ll be happy when and then they give. Like when I get that job, when I lose weight, when I gain weight, some of them, when I have that degree, it’s the same thing with worthiness.
When Are You Going to be Enough?
When I lose weight, when I gain weight, when I get that job, when I get that degree, or when I have that life that I’m envisioning. But until then I’m not worthy. I’m only worthy once I get there. And it’s about really kind of backtracking on that. Pulling yourself back from that idea of your worthiness is linked to the things that you have accomplished. It’s not that you shouldn’t get any worthiness from them. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from completing something. Getting a degree is a wonderful thing and yet getting to a degree doesn’t make one person better than the other person. What it does is it means you got a degree. Somebody else may be, didn’t get a degree, but they’re just as worthy and just as capable in some other area where their expertise has come through the, you know, the school of hard knocks instead.
So we could basically go on like this all day. What does it take to feel worthy? And the idea is that worthiness in this sense of “Am I good enough?” “Am I trying to be perfect all the time?” Comes out of this idea of shame for Brene Brown shame is a big piece of it. And the shame that stops us from being vulnerable, which stops us from being in intimate and authentic relationships. I, I really like these questions to start to consider this:
- What does it really take for you to feel worthy, in this moment?
- What, what in this moment would support you feeling worthy?
- What is at stake in your relationships, if you come to them feeling like you’re not worthy enough? I’m not good enough for that person, right?
- Or what does it take for me to acknowledge my own worthiness versus waiting for you to acknowledge it for me? Right?
And I, and I was just having this conversation with somebody today. This idea of this external acknowledgment. If I get this external acknowledgment of my value, then I can feel okay. And that puts a lot of pressure on always making sure you have people out there who can acknowledge you when you need to be acknowledged, so you can feel okay. And it puts an awful lot of pressure on other people to make sure that they’re taking care of you the way you feel like you need to be taken care of. When in all reality it’s an inside job.
It’s an Inside Job
Again, it’s an inside out job. If I feel worthy enough, I appreciate myself and I can take care of that and when I show up with you, we’re showing up as peers and equals I’m not needing something from you, nor are you ever going to get tired of trying to dance to the tune that I need and our relationship isn’t dependent on how good you are and making me feel okay about myself.
And I love this quote from Mary Oliver, it just really speaks to me, where she says, “Breathe it all in, love it all out.”
There’s this sense of I am in this moment and I am okay as I am. I am breathing it in and I am sending love out into the world. And I think that it really fits with this idea of the fear that gets activated when we don’t feel like we’re good enough. And when our shame buttons do get touched and the gremlins start chattering around in our minds.
Back to the Book
So going back to the book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown talks a lot about her 10 guideposts.
- There is the cultivating of authenticity, of self,
- intuition and trust,
- play and rest,
- calm and stillness,
- having meaningful work,
- and laughter song and dance.
I really love these guideposts because I think they are very nicely simplified down to the essence of what is important to be paying attention to. So that you can show up authentically and rock your relationships.
I’m going to end with a quote from Maya Angelou, which I think is one of the best quotes out there.
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues. Because without courage, you can’t practice any of the other virtues consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically but nothing consistently without courage.”
I think courage really is what is at the bottom of questioning our shame buttons, of getting curious, of starting with an inside out approach. So that we show up into all of our relationships, recognizing our own value so that we can also see the value in others.
There you have my thoughts on book one in how to rock your relationships.
I would LOVE to hear from YOU!
- What does “Inside Out Job” mean to you?
- What is something you do to feel worthy?