Book Notes: The Gifts of Imperfection

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 12.06.17 PM.pngJust finished Brene Brown’s book on my Kindle.  I’ve been highlighting like a fiend in this book.  So much good stuff I wanted to revisit.  I discovered there is a way to send these gems in a PDF to my Kindle Account.  Seems I found 84 Highlights (um…many of them were multi-paragraph to half page sections).  Merry’s Notebook: the-gifts-of-imperfection_-let-go-of-who-you-think-youre-supposed-to-be-and-embrace-who-you-are-notebook  is 12 pages!  (Her book is only 125 pages.)  I might even have to buy the paperback so I can write all over it and use all my multi-colored sticky notes.

Brene Brown made the choice that I have made for myself!  DAY 50 today!

“If you’ve read I Thought It Was Just Me, or if you follow my blog, you probably know that I’ve been sober for close to fifteen years.”  (p.70)

For my own processing…I’m picking 12 Highlights!


Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it—it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy. The most dangerous thing to do after a shaming experience is hide or bury our story. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes. I remember saying out loud: “I need to talk to someone RIGHT NOW. Be brave, Brené!” (p.9)

…Courage has a ripple effect. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver. And our world could stand to be a little kinder and braver. (p.15)

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self acceptance. (p.26)

Shame is basically the fear of being unlovable—it’s the total opposite of owning our story and feeling worthy. (p.39)

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. (snip) Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving—even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it. (p.50)

“Today, I’m going to believe that showing up is enough.” (p.62)

Most of us engage in behaviors (consciously or not) that help us to numb and take the edge of off vulnerability, pain, and discomfort. Addiction can be described as chronically and compulsively numbing and taking the edge off of feelings. We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions (p.69) … When We Numb the Dark, We Numb the Light (p.72)

Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments—(snip)… I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith. (p.80)

Most of us are not very good at not knowing. We like sure things and guarantees so much that we don’t pay attention to the outcomes of our brain’s matching process (p.88)…Intuition is not a single way of knowing—it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason. (p..89)

If we want to live a Wholehearted life, we have to become intentional about cultivating sleep and play, and about letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self worth. (p.102)

For me, breathing is the best place to start. Just taking a breath before I respond slows me down and immediately starts spreading calm. Sometimes I actually think to myself, I’m dying to freak out here! Do I have enough information to freak out? Will freaking out help? The answer is always no. (p.107)

Men and women who live Wholeheartedly do indeed DIG Deep. They just do it in a different way. When they’re exhausted and overwhelmed, they get Deliberate in their thoughts and behaviors through prayer, meditation, or simply setting their intentions; Inspired to make new and different choices; Going. They take action. (p.4)

This is a book that guides to DIG deep.  (Suggestions at the end of each section).


You can learn more about Brené and her research by visiting or by visiting her blog at For a Gifts of Imperfection reading guide and a list of book recommendations, please visit her Web site. (p.125)


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