"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart."
Dr. Brown had the vocabulary I understood to explain the common place fears and anxieties of the closed and protected heart. Her stories resonated with truth and I recognized myself in the experiences she shared. She brought me hope through the stories of a group of people who she named "the wholehearted". Being a researcher in the social sciences she interviewed hundreds of people and gathered their stories. The stories were then sorted according to similarities and differences. As she interviewed people about shame and fear she became aware of a group who seemed to weather adversities better than other groups. They were not shielded from suffering and misfortune but seemed to have characteristics that made them more resilient. These she called the wholehearted and to her dismay she, herself, did not share many of their qualities. This group had, among their characteristics, the ability to remain vulnerable. So new data was collected. Now, if you don't want to talk about shame and fear, vulnerability isn't a better subject. Vulnerability research made stepping into the arena of life a more daring endeavor. In my reading she encouraged me to keep showing up and and now in Rising Strong the conversation is about getting up even when we fail.
"The contribution I hope to make is to put language around the process (of rising strong), to bring into our awareness some of the issues that we may need to grapple with if we want to rise strong, and to simply let people know they are not alone."