Sunday night a whopper of a storm blew into Central Minnesota and knocked out our power, right smack dab in the middle of the Tonys, don'tcha know.
I decided to camp out in our family room, as the upstairs was too damned hot for this perimenopausal mama's blood. I was certain I'd wake up in the middle of the night to find the lights all back on and in perfect working order.
I was wrong.
I can't remember the last time our power was out for 12 hours.
Because my work includes one computer, one mouse and one steady supply of electricity, I had no choice but to a) get some good coffee by any means necessary, and b) curl up on my front porch with my iPad and settle in for some reading.
Side note: Because I have a fear of manually lighting my gas burners I decided to head out to McDonalds to procure breakfast—don't judge—for my son, who is still in school. While there, I figured I'd order the coffee that I wasn't able to make at home. Holy Swill, Bat Children. It tasted like the worst basement coffee in the history of the Lutheran Church. I ended up going out for more coffee at Caribou… but don't tell my hubby that. That's like sleeping with the enemy.
But getting back to my story… with no electricty and time on my hands, I sat down on my front porch for some semi-guilt-free me time. I am reading a book that I am increasingly convinced that, in addition to the therapy I am doing, will change my life. The book is The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
Some of you may be familiar with Brené from her amazing and inspired Ted Talk that has made the internet rounds over the past few years. I only recently watched this and thought: Hey, a lot of what she says lines up with the work I'm trying to do in my own life. I should check this out.
Turns out I own her first book, I Thought It Was Just Me, and I'd forgotten that I had it. Never got around to reading it for some reason.
That said, right now, I'm just getting into her Imperfection book and I think it's simply remarkable. I'm highlighting so many passages in the first 100 pages that the pages are looking more pink than white.
Reading Brené's book is what gave me the courage to post about my marriage and my inadequacies in the general human department last week. Her idea of "owning your story" really resonated with me and I wanted to move past my fear of being seen a certain way and be honest and open in this space.
One thing that my own therapist has been talking to me about for the past two years is the idea of being a wholehearted person. Not being someone who is divided. This is central to Brené's research and in the early pages of the book she writes:
"The Wholehearted journey is not the path of least resistance. It's a path of consciousness and choice. And, to be honest, it's a little counterculture. The willingness to tell our stories, feel the pain of others, and stay genuinely connected in this disconnected world is not something we can't do half-heartedly. To practice courage, compassion, and connection is to look at life and the people around us, and say, "I'm all in."
When I read the last line, I literally gasped and burst into tears of I don't even know what. You see, I had written a letter to Dan last week and part of it included really apologizing for how horrible I have been to him over the years but to let him also know that I am committed to making every needed change in my life to make this union not just work, but thrive.
I wrote to him:
"I know that being wholehearted is what I really want in my life. Loving you. Loving my kids. Learning from all of the mistakes along the way. I want this. I'm all in."
When I read Brené's line about being "all in," I was hooked, line and sinker. Something about her voice and her work is really speaking to me.
Have you read her books? Watched her talks? Read her blog? If not, by all means, take a few looks and see what might resonate with you.
I'm thankful for finding this book at a time when I am in a space that will truly allow me to welcome it in.