Courage: The Gifts of Imperfection
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'The gifts of Imperfection' by Brene Brown is about Courage, and I highly recommend this book.
One thing that I have grown to love is the book's recommendations that I have gathered through mental health treatment, therapy, hospitals, and from all kinds of doctors, and even my dermatologist when he heard I was struggling with depression (didn't tell him my diagnosis). There are many books that I have bought after a therapy session or doctors appointment because the books just simply inspired me and made me feel like a person that truly was living. That was at the start of treatment, and now I can feel as though I am not comparable to others but I know that that thought is ridiculous.
The books that I have been reading and the handouts that we get in all sorts of groups in different cities/towns/hospitals and IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) are books where many would go 'oh only monks and spiritual people would read that sort of book'. I know that if I had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, I would have looked at Brene's Book and would have thought 'Oh that is cool, I think I know who I am and I think I am able to embrace who I am maybe not today, not tomorrow, but definitely by the time I die' and then I would have walked away.
A Memorable Quote
Brene Brown explains courage in such a way where a million light bulbs will go off in your head and it will leave you speechless:
"Courage originally meant 'To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart'. Over time, this definition has changed and today courage is more synonymous with being heroic. Heroics is important and we certainly need heroes but I think we have lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we are about what we are feeling and about our experiences (good and bad) is the definition of courage"
Courage vs. Heroism?
I love her definition because immediately when I picture courage I picture a firefighter or a person like Martin Luther King Jr. People who have/ who simply do something no matter whether they are scared or get hurt to simply help others. They don't care about others judgments or to look good in front of people, it is simply pure courage. Everyone who struggles with mental health conditions that has come to battle it, or at least try to battle it has SO MUCH COURAGE. People bring us down everyday for having a mental health condition. We hear it in the media, on social networking, friends, family, and in other places in our daily lives. It is easy to let people's point of view on mental health conditions get to us.
We should have the courage to stand up for ourselves. If we talk about who has courage, a person with a mental health condition and anyone who is struggling with anything that is not considered 'normal' compared to the rest of society, we are accused of being not who we should be when really we ARE the ones in our body. We know who we are. We know what is best for us, and for the most part we know how to take care of ourselves, how we need to think, and so on. The process of becoming familiar with your illness by trial and error, and learning more about how to live with the illness one day at a time is courage. It takes courage to take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself means paying attention to YOU. Most in this world do not take care of themselves.
There is courage in defying the norm by accepting your mental health condition. Courage is stepping out in public naked (not literally although if you did that would be courageous), to expose yourself, to become vulnerable, and I think everyone can agree mental health conditions forces you a trillion times to do just that. Courage is seen in many places, everyday. Just simply asking for help when you are embarrassed or nervous to ask someone for help. Maybe you tell a guy you like you like him. Maybe you are courageous for talking in class.
"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" - Brene Brown
- Susan Page
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