Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Hustle of Worthiness ... Exploring the Power of Love, Belonging, and Being Enough - with Dr. Brene Brown

One of my favorite people in the whole world is the wholehearted DR. BRENE BROWN ... a researcher, writer, and professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. 

Brene has spent the last decade studying a concept she calls Wholeheartedness, posing the question:  "How do we cultivate a life defined by authenticity, love and belonging, joy and gratitude, and a resilient spirit, and what gets in the way?"

Wouldn't we all like to have the answer/s to that question?  I know I would ...

Last year, Brene offered an on-line READ-ALONG with her book,  "I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't)" , which I blogged about ... and participated in ...

This year, we are waiting with baited breath {what does that mean, really, anyway?!  "baited breath".  hmmm} for the release of  her new book, "The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are" .  Due out in April 2010, this promises to be more wonderful work along the lines of  "ITIWJM(bii)". 

  This week, however, we are celebrating the release of a new DVD by Brene, "THE HUSTLE OF WORTHINESS: Exploring the Power of Love, Belonging, and Being Enough".

In the post about the release of her new DVD, author Brown notes: "Our lives are a collection of stories -- truths about who we are, what we believe, what we come from, how we struggle, and how we are strong.  When we can let go of what people think, and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness -- the feeling that we are enough just as we are, and that we are worthy of love and belonging."

How powerful is THAT?!

So what is this word, WORTHY, anyway?  Just what does WORTHINESS mean to you? to me?  I turned to Webster's {my trusty 1956, leather-bound edition that my mother Edith used for decades}:

WORTH:  that quality or sum of qualities of a thing rendering it valuable or useful; value; hence, often, value as expressed in a standard, as money; moral or personal excellence, merit; wealth, riches. 

Webster's goes on to add:

Worth:  the quality of being useful, important, excellent, or the like.

and they define WORTHY ... "Having worth; valuable; estimable. Having adequate merit.  'A person of eminent worth.'

And isn't that what each and every single one of us are?  WORTHY?  Having worth.  Of value and importance and useful ???

Being a lover of quotes, I found some very poignant ones that speak to me of the word and the concept of WORTH ...

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Do not let your peace depend on the hearts of men; whatever they say about you, good or bad, you are not because of it another man, for as you are, you are." -- Thomas a' Kempis

"The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself." -- Mark Twain

and to bookend the quote from Eleanor ...

"I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do.  That is character!" -- Theodore Roosevelt

But I think that the quote speaking to me loud and clear this morning is this:

"Women's work is always toward wholeness." -- May Sarton

While women do not have the market cornered on issues of worth/unworthiness and being whole vs. being "broken", I do feel that women strive their whole lives, from the cradle to the grave, for that feeling of wholeness, completion, worthiness ... that Brene addresses. 

Do we struggle with body image issues?  education issues?  career or family or community issues?  {if you answered YES to any of those questions, then you are in excellent company ... because who among us has NOT struggled with those issues, and more?}

Do we ever truly feel that we "stack up" well against our family members, our friends, our neighbors?  {if you answered "YES" to the stacking up well question, then YOU need to be writing a blogpost on this topic yourself!}

I personally battle body-image and health-challenge issues all the time.  From the time I could talk and reason, I wondered "what did I do to deserve these headaches?" and I always wanted to know "why did I get the belly-fat gene in the family?!"   I continue struggling with body image / self-worth issues to this day.

My friend Karen Caterson, who I met through the read-along last year and have grown to love because she is such a beautiful person, caring and giving and open-hearted ... she spends a lot of time addressing body-image concerns that we women face.  Her work CHOOSING ME: Finding Comfort, Joy and Beauty in the Me I am NOW is fantastic! {  http://squarepegpeople.typepad.com/choosing_me }.

I know that we each have our WORTHINESS issues to face ... I invite you to see what Brene has to say about the subject via her new DVD.  And please, please do leave a comment ON MY BLOG ... your comments do mean so much to me, as they do to all bloggers, and gee, it just might give my FEELING WORTHY quotient the boost it needs to ... take the next step.  Or not!  You see, no pressure.

As Brene says, "join me and some of my favorite bloggers this week as we take to the streets to celebrate our messy, imperfect, wild, stretch-marked, wonderful, heartbreaking, grace-filled, and joyful lives!"

Visit Brene at http://www.ordinarycourage.com to read more about her incredible studies.

--  Davielle


terri said...

wow, davi....i'm not sure you know how stunningly bright your heart shines thru this! my gosh. talk about living all that you talked about at the start of your post...authentic, joy, gratitude, love....wow. you are so generous in your support and praise and encouragement of others. i am humbled that you included me in on it all. thank you for that. you really are a special woman. thanks for being out there!

squarepegperson said...

ohmyword, came over here because I just KNEW you'd be part of Brene's Worthiness week - and was reading along just lapping up your words and then saw MY OWN NAME - nearly choked on my coffee (which ought to teach me not to drink coffee near the computer, not to mention at 8:30 at night - getting too close to bedtime..but i digress...)

Davi - I love you! Thanks for mentioning Choosing Me! and thanks for always sharing your heart! Ditto to what our sistah ter says!!