Braving The Wilderness
Chapter 4 (part 1)
People are Hard to Hate Close Up. Move In.
The holidays are upon us and Chapter 4 is the best read to prepare for being with people who may challenge our sense of belonging. It’s interesting, isn't it? We make an assumption that we will have our strongest sense of belonging with family. Yet sometimes family has a hard time accepting who we become as adults.
It’s common when we leave our family homes our beliefs, opinions, and experiences change. The people we grew up with can’t know how we have changed if we don’t let them into who we are now. But it can be super scary to let people see who we really are and risk rejection.
Can you think of examples inside your family of people who are talked about or are not welcome anymore because they are different now?
Maya Angelou's words mentioned in this chapter offer a different perspective and can be a great comfort: “I belong to myself.”
Belong to yourself no matter what. This belonging to self is what strengthens us to stand strong when people don’t know what to do with who we are now. It also strengthens us to “move in” closer to those that we struggle to love.
Brene’ reminds us to “move in.” Find the connecting place in the people that are in our lives. We can’t make assumptions about people’s loveableness (is that a word?) just because they hold different views. I love the examples Brene uses to identify the labels we put on people, and she names other characteristics and actions that endear us to them.
This would be a great exercise to do before the holidays.
1. Take some time to write down who you are and what you believe.
2. Make another list of who loves you just the way you are.
3. Think through the people you will see this holiday season that are hard for you to relate to at times. Write down their names and write the good you see in them.
From our table to yours,
Donna Durham, MMFT