doing vs feeling

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I have a confession to make. While I love Brené Brown’s books, and her insights, I have never yet finished one of her books.


Because it gets too hard. Because she touches on a raw nerve. Because she goes too deep. Because she asks things of me that I am not completely sure I want to go through.

I know that in the end I will be a braver, more whole-hearted person. But I’m not sure I want to do the work and sift through my emotional debris to get there.

And then I said “yes”.

I said “yes” to a book club. I said “yes” to Elaine and Amanda. I said “yes” to accountability. So here I am Chapter 8 of Rising Strong and still going, and this chapter is asking a lot of me!

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the reality of the rumble

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When you are in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.

Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

I love this Margaret Atwood quote that Brené uses to start chapter five of Rising Strong. Because this is starting to get real now, and deep, and I feel like I have two choices. I can read this book as a theory book. Saying to myself “Oh, so this is the theory of rising strong, and one day (if I need it) I will grab that book off my shelf and use it”. Or I can say “this is a real process that I go through on a weekly, monthly or even daily basis and I need to get these processes ingrained in me”.

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You can’t skip day two

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There are many things you get warned about when you about to give birth. But an unexpected one is that you are warned that you will experience what is called “the baby blues”.

You will have a time 3-5 days after the birth when the hormones in your body run wild and you run a roller coaster of emotions, even doubting if you are capable of being a mother or wondering if you can go back.

And the thing is despite the warnings, and the fact that you are ‘somewhat’ mentally prepared, you still have to let the emotions run their course. Even with the second child, when you have already experienced this tornado of emotion and hormones once before, it still hits you just as hard. It is not something you can avoid.

You may not have given birth, but I wonder if you can relate to that feeling? The feeling of holding a precious new-born dream in your hands, but you haven’t quite got the hang of it yet. The questioning why you did this in the first place and whether you can go back, (when clearly you can’t). The emotional roller coaster, the doubts, the questions.

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