The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
Brené Brown is a renowned researcher and Episcopalian who came to fame via a TED Talk on shame and resilience. Dr. Brown’s first book was published in 2010, and it remains my favorite. If you’ve not seen her TED Talk, you can watch it and more of her videos here: https://brenebrown.com. I had never heard of Brené Brown until she came to speak to the Presiding Bishop’s staff about three years ago. Hearing her speak was transformative for me, and I suggest her books to anyone who will listen. This particular book is the shortest of her writings, but it covers 10 guideposts for wholehearted living. Guidepost #4 is “Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark” and it is a great chapter for explaining why a spiritual discipline of gratitude is so very important in our world today. She shares that every Friday she writes a blog called TGIF, in which she shares what she’s trusting, what she’s grateful for, what inspires her, and how she’s practicing her faith. She talks about how gratitude must be practiced – it isn’t something you can do without being mindful – and as gratitude pushes back against fear and anxiety, it is a reminder that we are enough and that scarcity thinking will not solve any problems. Dr. Brown’s research shows that courage, compassion, and connection will change our daily lives, and gratitude is one of the foundational tools for wholehearted living. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and read it, or any of her books. They are all fantastic and would make for a great Lenten read!