Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown

Humans are created with a deep desire to belong. Our wellness has much to do with our sense of belonging. Brené Brown picks up her previous theme on the importance of belonging in her latest book, Braving the Wilderness. In the lifelong quest to belong, Brown explores how this powerful inclination and need can keep us from courageously standing alone. Humility is important as we stand alone. She writes, “If our faith asks us to find the face of God in everyone we meet, that should include the politicians, media and strangers on Twitter with whom we most violently disagree.”

Brown explores the difficulty of working out with humility what truly belonging to each other means. “Belonging so fully to yourself that you’re willing to stand alone is a wilderness—an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching.”

She goes on to unpack the pressures within the circles of belonging that keep us from revealing our true selves. We struggle with the tension between “being with” and “being alone.” Standing up for what we believe can be a place of wilderness.

Drawing from a variety of examples and situations, Brown challenges readers to dig deeply to know and embrace themselves, and in true knowing find the courage to speak truth. She quotes Maya Angelou: “The price is high, the reward is great.”

If you have read Brown previously, this book will continue the conversation. If you are new to her work, this is a good place to start. (Random House)

About the Author

Jenny de Groot is a teacher/librarian in Langley, British Columbia.

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