Braving the Wilderness
Brene Brown is known for tackling the big issues of our time, that rarely come up for discussion in other media. Courage, shame, vulnerability, connection. Braving the Wilderness sets all the issues against the backdrop of the increased polarisation we’re seeing in our societies today, the echo chambers of social media, the need to stand up for what’s right.
She says: "True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that's rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it's easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. […] "The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it's the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand."
The image that stays with me, from one of the last chapters, is of a place on the other side of the wilderness - where all those who have found courage, stood up for what they believe in or felt they had to do and accomplish, despite fear and criticism, come together and find belonging among other brave souls. This is where we meet the Greta Thunbergs of the world, and everyone who has carved out a new space in the world, pioneered a new solution, stood up against old entrenched values - whether in the public or very private domestic area, started a business or simply had the courage to change their own mind and grow into something unknown, yet strangely welcoming. Belonging, she argues, is more about coming home to a life led through your values, straight-backed and fearless, than about sinking into our comfort zones and letting the status quo prevail. From this point of view, this book couldn’t be more important at this time.