High Lonesome A Spiritual Crisis. "Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us..." - Brene Brown
Loneliness is a definitely a subject that is not easily discussed with others. This is something that creates a bit of negativity as is stated in the book. We talk about loneliness in conjunction with needing therapy, being depressed and the loner is almost always associated with a criminal especially - as we have all seen on the news and social media - the juvenile criminal. By treating the feelings of loneliness as negative it creates a taboo feeling. A feeling that is often not discussed and then as a result there is no discussion of what to do to when we feel lonely.
In our present culture and political times the feelings of loneliness have increased as we protect ourselves. What are we protecting ourselves from? This is the hardest and yet easiest to understand - FEAR. This is the driving force behind our need to protect ourselves, pick sides, remain quiet, be loud - be controlling, reflexive sorting of friends, groups, books, discussions which, all lead to only having support from those that agree with everything you do. This creates a place where a differing opinion does not lead to a discussion because - you are not allowed to have a different opinion. That is the final answer.
As you read this chapter you may find yourself uneasy with the topics presented. You may read this chapter and reflect back to many situations where this type of fear has occurred. The greatest fear I believe we can overcome is our the one that allows us to dig deep into ourselves and reflect. Looking in to ourselves and our own actions.
As before these questions are great for reviewing the chapter and for book club discussions.
1. When have you found yourself protecting yourself - either by choosing a side and joining the masses OR remaining quiet?
2. When have you looked at a class or a group and thought that it would be cool - only to then not sign up or go because it would be a different group of people than what you would normally hang out with?
3. When have you not taken action (class, workshop, place, book etc.) because you were worried about what a friend or family member would say?
4. Now think back to time in the same scenarios above BUT you did it anyway - you went to the class etc. NOW here is the question did you do it because you were being true to your authentic self OR to prove a point to someone?
5. What do you think of loneliness and being alone - is it the same? Is it different?
6. Think of a situation where you felt alone but yet you were with a lot of people - did you find yourself going to a place of protection - (choosing a side, remaining quiet, agreeing with the loudest person in the room, being defensive, being sarcastic, gossip)
7. Interdependence means that we gain strength from working together. How can you implement this into your life - your social circles, family, work etc.?
"Paradox - in latin- seemingly absurd but really true...."
Wow! This book has an amazing first chapter and lays the ground work for some serious reflection. Brene Brown does a great job of getting into our core and it forces us to truly think about why we have a need to belong. Why a tribe is so important. Why we INNATELY cannot deny ourselves this true need!
At the center of this innate driven need to belong we have to remain true to ourselves. True to our authenticity. We have to belong to ourselves first and then we truly belong.
Questions to ask yourself for Chapter 2. And as before you can do these for yourself, or in a group. Dig deep - you only have to share with yourself which, is the center of one's ability to truly belong.
1. What does wilderness mean to you?
2. Review the 7 elements of trust.
Boundaries, Reliability Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non judgement, Genorosity
3. When have you had someone violate these 7 elements. One person may have done them all or different people for different elements.
4. Now take the 7 elements and apply them to yourself.
WHEN have you violated these elements to others. And then when have you violated them to yourself.
Apply this to work, family, groups, loved ones.
5. Recognize where could you have changed your choice above and not violated the element. Would you have had a different outcome.
Ex. You violated telling a story that was not yours to tell and ended up in a argument with that person and are no longer friends.
Ex. You told your friend that you were going to help watch their child and you did not and chose to go out with friends. Your friend lost their job.
6. Review the daily practice and reflect on the paradox of the 4 elements. Understanding that we are dynamic human beings and that we can sometimes live in a paradox is important. It allows us to know we do have tools to use in any situation. BRAVING is one such tool. Being able to self assess daily.
7. For one week do a daily self assessment ask yourself -
Today was I:
Being able to reflect on our own actions and those around us allows us to gain control of these actions and to be able to truly belong without compromising our authenticity.