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300 Best Atlas of the Heart Quotes by Brené Brown (2023)

1. “When we feel good about the choices we’re making and when we’re engaging with the world from a place of worthiness rather than scarcity, we feel no need to judge and attack.”


2. “Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.”


3. As it turns out, being able to see what’s coming doesn’t make it any less painful when it arrives.


4. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”


5. “CHOOSING TO BE CURIOUS IS CHOOSING TO BE VULNERABLE BECAUSE IT REQUIRES US TO SURRENDER TO UNCERTAINTY.”


6. As Adam Grant writes, “Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.”


7. Here is my definition of comparison: Comparison is the crush of conformity from one side and competition from the other—it’s trying to simultaneously fit in and stand out. Comparison says, “Be like everyone else, but better.”


8. “People will do almost anything to not feel pain, including causing pain and abusing power. ”


9. “Learning to label emotions with a more nuanced vocabulary can be absolutely transformative.”


10. “Comparison is the crush of conformity from one side and competition from the other—it’s trying to simultaneously fit in and stand out. Comparison says, “Be like everyone else, but better.”


11. “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage. ”


12. “Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.”


13. “Curiosity is recognizing a gap in our knowledge about something that interests us, and becoming emotionally and cognitively invested in closing that gap through exploration and learning.” Brene Brown “Atlas of the Heart”


14. “According to the Gottman Institute, flooding is “a sensation of feeling psychologically and physically overwhelmed during conflict, making it virtually impossible to have a productive, problem-solving discussion.”


15. “Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you. ”


16. “Sometimes the most uncomfortable learning is the most powerful.”


17. Knowing the Language of our Emotions is Crucial


18. “I am responsible for holding you accountable in a respectful and productive way. I’m not responsible for your emotional reaction to that accountability. ”


19. We use several emotive words incorrectly.


20. “The element of powerlessness is what makes anguish traumatic.”


21. The meaningful connection theory


22. “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” What does it mean if the vastness of human emotion and experience can only be expressed as mad, sad, or happy?


23. “You are only free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great. ”


24. “If you’re afraid to lean into good news, wonderful moments and joy—if you find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop—you are not alone. It’s called ‘foreboding joy’ and most of us experience it.”


25. “At its core, defensiveness is a way to protect our ego and a fragile self-esteem. Our research team member Ellen Alley explains that our self-esteem is considered fragile when our failures, mistakes, and imperfections decrease our self-worth. In our work, the opposite of a fragile self-esteem is grounded confidence. With grounded confidence, we accept our imperfections and they don’t diminish our self-worth. It makes sense that defensiveness occurs in areas of our lives where we have fragile self-esteem, or across several areas of our lives if the fragility is more general. Any perceived call-out of our weakness is experienced as an attack on our worth, so we fight hard to defend ourselves against it.”


26. “THE MORE DIFFICULT IT IS TO ARTICULATE OUR EXPERIENCES OR LOSS, LONGING, AND FEELING LOST TO THE PEOPLE AROUND US, THE MORE DISCONNECTED AND ALONE WE FEEL.”


27. “I’ve learned that power is not bad, but the abuse of power or using power over others is the opposite of courage; it’s a desperate attempt to maintain a very fragile ego.”


28. “So often, when we feel lost, adrift in our lives, our first instinct is to look out into the distance to find the nearest shore. But that shore, that solid ground, is within us. The anchor we are searching for is connection, and it is internal. To form meaningful connections with others, we must first connect with ourselves,”


29. “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”


30. “Worrying and anxiety go together, but worry is not an emotion; it’s the thinking part of anxiety. Worry is described as a chain of negative thoughts about bad things that might happen in the future.”


31. “There are too many people in the world today who decide to live disappointed rather than risk feeling disappointment. This can take the shape of numbing, foreboding joy, being cynical or critical, or just never really fully engaging.”


32. “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.”


33. “There is no courage without vulnerability. Courage requires the willingness to lean into uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”


34. “NO MATTER WHAT GETS DONE AND HOW MUCH IS LEFT UNDONE, I AM ENOUGH.”


35. “Science is not the truth. Science is finding the truth. When science changes its opinion, it didn’t lie to you. It learned more. ”


36. The importance of personal stories.


37. “If you want to make a difference, the next time you see someone being cruel to another human being, take it personally. Take it personally because it is personal!”


38. “Compassion is not a virtue -- it is a commitment. It’s not something we have or don’t have -- it’s something we choose to practice.”


39. “good friends aren’t afraid of your light. They never blow out your flame and you don’t blow out theirs—even when it’s really bright and it makes you worry about your own flame.”


40. “Our identities are always changing and growing, they’re not meant to be pinned down. Our histories are never all good or all bad, and running from the past is the surest way to be defined by it. That’s when it owns us. The key is bringing light to the darkness - developing awareness and understanding.”


41. “RESENTMENT IS THE FEELING OF FRUSTRATION, JUDGMENT, ANGER, ‘BETTER THAN,’ AND/OR HIDDEN ENVY RELATED TO PERCEIVED UNFAIRNESS OR INJUSTICE. IT’S AN EMOTION THAT WE OFTEN EXPERIENCE WHEN WE FAIL TO SET BOUNDARIES OR ASK FOR WHAT WE NEED, OR WHEN EXPECTATIONS LET US DOWN BECAUSE THEY WERE BASED ON THINGS WE CAN’T CONTROL, LIKE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK, WHAT THEY FEEL, OR HOW THEY’RE GOING TO REACT.”


42. “In fact, research shows that the process of labeling emotional experience is related to greater emotion regulation and psychosocial well-being.”


43. “The more difficult it is for us to articulate our experiences of loss, longing, and feeling lost to the people around us, the more disconnected and alone we feel.”


44. We are meaning makers, and a sense of place is central to meaning-making.


45. “Communicating our expectations is brave and vulnerable. And it builds meaningful connection and often leads to having a partner or friend who we can reality-check with.”


46. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can survive these injuries only if they’re acknowledged, healed, and rare. pg. 186


47. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.”


48. “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. ”


49. “THIS IS ONE REASON WE NEED TO DISPEL THE MYTH THAT EMPATHY IS ‘WALKING IN SOMEONE ELSE’S SHOES.’ RATHER THAN WALKING IN YOUR SHOES, I NEED TO LEARN HOW TO LISTEN TO THE STORY YOU TELL ABOUT WHAT IT’S LIKE IN YOUR SHOES AND BELIEVE YOU WHEN IT DOESN’T MATCH MY EXPERIENCES.”


50. “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. ”


51. “An experience of collective pain does not deliver us from grief or sadness; it is a ministry of presence. These moments remind us that we are not alone in our darkness and that our broken heart is connected to every heart that has known pain since the beginning of time.”


52. “The definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. But vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our most accurate measure of courage. When the barrier is our belief about vulnerability, the question becomes: Are we willing to show up and be seen when we can’t control the outcome? When the barrier to vulnerability is about safety, the question becomes: Are we willing to create courageous spaces so we can be fully seen? A soft and open front is not being weak; it’s being brave, it’s being the wilderness.”


53. “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”


54. Empathy Requires Distance and Boundaries


55. “Belonging is a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who we are. When we sacrifice who we are, we not only feel separate from others, but we even feel disconnected from ourselves.”


56. “We can’t be brave in the big world without at least one small safe space to work through our fears and falls.”


57. “Disappointment takes a toll on us and our relationships. It requires considerable emotional bandwidth. Researcher Eliane Sommerfeld explains that we come away from the experience of disappointment feeling bad about ourselves and the other person. Our negativity is tinged with astonishment and surprise, and, at the same time we’re trying to forgive, we’re concealing emotions. We’re trying to think positively and urging ourselves to move on. It’s exhausting.”


58. “Science is not the truth. Science is finding the truth. When science changes its opinion, it didn’t lie to you. It learned more.”


59. “We don’t want to betray anyone - we don’t want to be the first to get curious and ask questions or challenge the stories. We ask ourselves, How can I love and protect my family if I’m rumbling with these hard truths? For me, the answer to that question is another question: How can I love and protect my family if I’m not rumbling with these hard truths?”


60. “What we know matters but who we are matters more.”


61. “I’ve come to believe that creativity is the mechanism that allows learning to seep into our being and become practice. The Asaro tribe of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea has a beautiful saying: ‘Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.’”


62. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness. ”


63. “Good friends aren’t afraid of your light. They never blow out your flame and you don’t blow out theirs — even when it’s really bright and it makes you worry about your own flame. ”


64. “We aren’t curious about something we are unaware of or know nothing about. This has huge implications for education. Loewenstein explains that simply encouraging people to ask questions doesn’t go very far toward stimulating curiosity. He writes, “To induce curiosity about a particular topic, it may be necessary to ‘prime the pump’ ”—”


65. To form meaningful connections with others, we must first connect with ourselves, but to do either, we must first establish a common understanding of the language of emotion and human experience.


66. Rather than walking in your shoes, I need to learn how to listen to the story you tell about what it’s like in your shoes and believe you even when it doesn’t match my experiences.


67. “Our work is to get to the place where we like ourselves and are concerned when we judge ourselves too harshly or allow others to silence us. The wilderness demands this level of self-love and self-respect.”


68. “Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment. ”


69. “I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” — Brené Brown


70. “Communicating our expectations is brave and vulnerable. And it builds meaningful connections.” Brene Brown “Atlas of the Heart”


71. “Narcissism is shame-based. In fact, I define narcissism as the shame-based fear of being ordinary.”


72. “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. ”


73. “What Happened for…” – Part 1: “The Long Boom” 40 years later


74. “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”


75. “There are too many people today who instead of feeling hurt are acting out their hurt; instead of acknowledging pain, they’re inflicting pain on others. Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they’re choosing to live disappointed. Emotional stoicism is not badassery. Blustery posturing is not badassery. Swagger is not badassery. Perfection is about the furthest thing in the world from badassery. ”


76. The average number of emotions named across the surveys was three. The emotions were happy, sad, and angry. …What about shame, disappointment, wonder, awe, disgust, embarrassment, despair, contentment, boredom, anxiety, stress, love, overwhelm,. surprise, and all of the other emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human?


77. “Learning to label emotions with a more nuanced vocabulary can be absolutely transformative.” - Susan David


78. “This is one reason we need to dispel the myth that empathy is “walking in someone else’s shoes.” Rather than walking in your shoes, I need to learn how to listen to the story you tell about what it’s like in your shoes and believe you even when it doesn’t match my experiences.”


79. “Sharing appropriately, with boundaries, means sharing with people with whom we’ve developed relationships that can bear the weight of our story. The result of this mutually respectful vulnerability is increased connection, trust, and engagement.


80. “The paradox is one of our most valuable spiritual possessions…only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life.” - Carl Jung


81. “GOOD FRIENDS AREN’T AFRAID OF YOUR LIGHT. THEY NEVER BLOW OUT YOUR FLAME AND YOU DON’T OUT THEIRS–EVEN WHEN IT’S REALLY BRIGHT AND IT MAKES YOU WORRY ABOUT YOUR OWN FLAME.”


82. “I also learned that when you hold someone accountable for hurtful behaviors and they feel shame, that’s not the same as shaming someone. I am responsible for holding you accountable in a respectful and productive way. I’m not responsible for your emotional reaction to that accountability.”


83. “I am responsible for holding you accountable in a respectful and productive way. I’m not responsible for your emotional reaction to that accountability”


84. “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging. ”


85. The engine that drives self-justification, the energy that produces the need to justify our actions and decisions—especially the wrong ones—is the unpleasant feeling that Festinger called “cognitive dissonance.” …Cognitive dissonance is a state. of tension that occurs when a person holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are psychologically. inconsistent. with each other, such as “Smoking is a dumb. thing. to. do. because. it. could. kill. me”. and. “I. smoke. two. packs. a. day.”


86. “Do I have enough information to freak out? The answer is normally no.


87. “In the weeds” – How can we help?


88. Some of my own biggest regrets include failures of kindness, including failures of self-kindness.


89. “DON’T TRY TO WIN OVER THE HATERS. YOU ARE NOT A JACKASS WHISPERER.”


90. “FOR ANXIETY AND DREAD, THE THREAT IS IN THE FUTURE. FOR FEAR, THE THREAT IS NOW–IN THE PRESENT.”


91. There’s compelling research that shows that compassion fatigue occurs when caregivers focus on their own personal distress reaction rather than on the experience of the person they are caring for.


92. “Shame thrives on secrecy, silence, and judgment.”


93. ”I need to be connected to myself, in my own body, and learning what makes me work. This is how I start to develop the grounded confidence I need to move through the world and cultivate meaningful connection with others.” We need to be connected to and aware of ourselves. It impacts how we connect and relate to others. How much do we numb our feelings and cut off others instead of feeling deeply or allowing others to feel deeply?


94. “What we know matters but who we are matters more. ”


95. High levels of perceived stress have been shown to correlate with more rapid aging, decreased immune function, greater inflammatory processes, less sleep, and poorer health behaviors.


96. “Atlas of the Heart” is NOT written in this style, and it threw me off for a moment.


97. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” - F. Scott Fitgerald


98. If we are not aware of ourselves we cannot truly connect with others


99. “It’s always helpful to remember that when perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun. Perfectionism is not healthy striving. It is not asking, How can I be my best self? Instead, it’s asking, What will people think?”


100. …an experience where our emotions are intense, our focus on them is moderate, and our clarity about exactly what we’re feeling is low enough that we get confused when trying to identify or describe the emotions. …In other words: On a scale of 1. to 10, I’m feeling my emotions at about 10, I’m paying attention to them at about 5, and I understand them at about 2.. …This is not. a setup for successful decision making.


101. “The most dangerous stories we make up are the narratives that diminish our inherent worthiness. We must reclaim the truth about our lovability, divinity, and creativity.”


102. “I need time for my confusion.” Confusion can be a cue that there’s new territory to be explored or a fresh puzzle to be solved.—ADAM GRANT, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.


103. “in this perception-driven world, the big question is always: Are you setting goals and expectations that are completely outside of your control?”


104. “It is not fear that stops you from doing the brave and true thing in your daily life. Rather, the problem is avoidance. You want to feel comfortable, so you avoid doing or saying things that will evoke fear and other difficult emotions.” Dr. Harriet Lerner Brene Brown’s “Atlas of the Heart”


105. “Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them - without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune in to what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.”


106. “…so much of effective trauma work today is not only about reclaiming our breath, our feelings, and our thinking, but also getting our bones back and returning to our bodies.”


107. “Carl Jung wrote, ‘Only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life.’ We are complex beings who wake up every day and fight against being labeled and diminished with stereotypes and characterizations that don’t reflect our fullness. Yet when we don’t risk standing on our own and speaking out, when the options laid before us force us into the very categories we resist, we perpetuate our own disconnection and loneliness. When we are willing to risk venturing into the wilderness, and becoming our own wilderness, we feel the deepest connection to our true self and to what matters most. ”


108. “To be effective, learning needs to be effortful.”


109. “Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty. ”


110. “Taking pleasure in someone else’s failings, even if that person is someone we really dislike, can violate our values and lead to feelings of guilt and shame. But, make no mistake, it’s seductive, especially when we’re sucked into groupthink.”


111. “Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.” Professor Neimeyer’s”


112. ‘Near enemy’ is a useful Buddhist concept referring to a state of mind that appears similar to the desired state—hence it is ‘near’—but actually undermines it, which is why it’s an enemy.


113. “Hope is a function of struggle. If we’re never allowed to fall or face adversity as children, we are denied the opportunity to develop the tenacity and sense of agency we need to be hopeful.”


114. “Belonging so fully to yourself that you’re willing to stand alone is a wilderness--an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared...it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand. ”


115. “So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it: What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.”


116. “And I wish you joy and happiness. But above all of this, I wish you love. — DOLLY PARTON, “I Will Always Love You”


117. “When we reject the truth of someone’s story—the ultimate failure of story stewardship—it’s often because we’ve stealthily centered ourselves in their story, and the narrative takeover is about protecting our ego, behavior, or privilege. The less diverse our lived experiences, the more likely we are to find ourselves struggling with narrative takeover or narrative tap-out.”


118. “In a world where perfectionism, pleasing, and proving are used as armor to protect our egos and our feelings, it takes a lot of courage to show up and be all in when we can't control the outcome. It also takes discipline and self-awareness to understand what to share and with whom. Vulnerability is not oversharing, it's sharing with people who have earned the right to hear our stories and our experiences. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.”


119. “WHERE PERFECTIONISM IS DRIVING, YOUR SHAME IS RIDING SHOTGUN.”


120. Again, it’s counterintuitive, but acknowledging uncertainty is a function of grounded confidence, and it feels like humility to me.


121. “Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis. ”


122. “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them. ”


123. The entire premise of this book is that language has the power to define our experiences, and there’s no better example of this than anxiety and excitement.


124. “when I’m prioritizing being liked over being free, I was much sweeter but less authentic. Now I’m kinder and less judgmental. But also firmer and more solid. Occasionally salty.”


125. “Just because someone isn’t willing or able to love us, it doesn’t mean that we are unlovable. ”


126. “For anxiety and dread, the threat is in the future. For fear, the threat is now—in the present.”


127. Hatred will always motivate people for destructive action. — AGNETA FISCHER, ERAN HALPERIN, DAPHNA CANETT


128. “People will do almost anything to not feel pain, including causing pain and abusing power;”


129. Thinking and feeling as a group is easier than processing stuff individually


130. Worrying is not a helpful coping mechanism.


131. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. ”


132. “No one ever said, “This is no longer productive and we should take a time-out before someone gets their feelings hurt.” Our strategy was get louder and meaner until you win or someone else is crying.”


133. “3. Do we have all the information we need to make a decision or form a response? What do we need to ask or learn?


134. “Am I fearful of losing something I value to another person, or do I want something someone else has? If”


135. “For children, it’s easy for everything to become a source of shame when nothing is normalized. You assume that if no one is talking about it, it must just be you.”


136. “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.


137. “when we reflect back over the long term, we more often regret the actions we didn’t take—what we didn’t do—and we think of those as missed opportunities.”


138. “At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized. ”


139. ”When we are faced with information that challenges what we believe- our first instinct is to make the discomfort, irritation, and vulnerability go away.” (Chapter 5) There’s been a lot of challenging new information over the past few years and we’ve seen a lot of pushing away that discomfort. When people are wanting discomfort to go away together, or celebrating the pain of others together, it creates a false sense of fellowship. “It’s not hard to whip people into a frenzy using a nostalgia when we are collectively longing for something simpler.” She’s got a great article here on dehumanization. But it’s a lot easier than we assume to dehumanize people, to fall into a group frenzy of despising others.


140. “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change. ”


141. “We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions. ”


142. “…In its original Latin form, sacrifice means to make sacred or to make holy. I wholeheartedly believe that when we are fully engaged in parenting, regardless of how imperfect, vulnerable, and messy it is, we are creating something sacred.”


143. “AUTHENTICITY IS THE DAILY PRACTICE OF LETTING GO OF WHO WE THINK WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE AND EMBRACING WHO WE ARE.”


144. “Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run, but it will never make you less afraid. ”


145. “COMPARISON IS THE CRUSH OF CONFORMITY FROM ONE SIDE AND COMPETITION FROM THE OTHER–IT’S TRYING TO SIMULTANEOUSLY FIT IN AND STAND OUT. COMPARISON SAYS, “BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, BUT BETTER.”


146. “You are Only as Happy as your Least Happy Child”: The Tragedy of Codependent Parenting.


147. Due to the physics of how grass grows, when we peer over our fence at our neighbor’s grass, it actually does look greener, even if it is truly the same lushness as our own grass.


148. “Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.”


149. “Anguish often causes us to physically crumple in on ourselves, literally bringing us to our knees or forcing us all the way to the ground.”


150. “If we want to find the way back to ourselves and one another, we need language and the grounded confidence to both tell our stories and to be stewards of the stories that we hear. In Atlas of the Heart, we explore 87 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human and walk through a new framework for cultivating meaningful connection. This is for the mapmakers and travelers in all of us.”


151. “If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, I’m not interested in or open to your feedback. There are a million cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never be brave with their lives but who will spend every ounce of energy they have hurling advice and judgment at those who dare greatly. Their only contributions are criticism, cynicism, and fearmongering. If you’re criticizing from a place where you’re not also putting yourself on the line, I’m not interested in what you have to say. ”


152. “When I think about calm people, I think about people who can bring perspective to complicated situations and experience their feelings without reacting to heightened emotions.


153. “Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”


154. “There will be times when standing alone feels too hard, too scary, and we’ll doubt our ability to make our way through the uncertainty. Someone, somewhere, will say, ‘Don’t do it. You don’t have what it takes to survive the wilderness.’ This is when you reach deep into your heart and remind yourself, ‘I am the wilderness.‘”


155. “True belonging is not passive. It’s not the belonging that comes with just joining a group. It’s not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it’s safer. It’s a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who we are. We want true belonging, but it takes tremendous courage to knowingly walk into hard moments.”


156. “However, when repair seems possible and we share our hurt feelings and try to reconnect without the anger, the other person tends to respond with constructive actions including apologies and amends.”


157. “Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear. Without both, there is no opportunity for empathy and connection.”


158. “The need for connection in which growth is a priority is the core motivation in people’s lives. In growth-fostering relationships, people are able to bring themselves most fully and authentically into connection.” - Judith Jordan.


159. “But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotion, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain. ”


160. In the following chapters, we’re going to explore eighty-seven emotions and experiences that have been organized into groups. …I say emotions and experiences because some of these are not emotions—they’re thoughts that lead to emotion.


161. “Worrying about scarcity is our culture’s version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when you’ve been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability), we’re angry and scared and at each other’s throats.”


162. “The near enemy of love is attachment. Attachment masquerades as love. It says, “I will love this person (because I need something from them).” Or, “I’ll love you if you’ll love me back. I’ll love you, but only if you will be the way I want.” This isn’t the fullness of love. Instead there is attachment—there is clinging and fear. True love allows, honors, and appreciates; attachment grasps, demands, needs, and aims to possess.”


163. Where am I? How did I get here from there? How do I get there from here? …We need landmarks to orient us, and we need language to label what we’re experiencing.


164. “People are hard to hate close-up. Move in.


165. “Numb the dark and you numb the light.”


166. “WE NEED HAPPY MOMENTS AND HAPPINESS IN OUR LIVES; HOWEVER, I’M GROWING MORE CONVINCED THAT THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS MAY GET IN THE WAY OF DEEPER, MORE MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES LIKE JOY AND GRATITUDE. I KNOW, FROM TEH RESEARCH AND MY EXPERIENCES, THAT WHEN IT COMES TO PARENTING, WHAT MAKES CHILDREN HAPPY IN THE MOMENT IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT LEADS THEM TO DEVELOPING DEEPER JOY, GROUNDED CONFIDENCE, AND MEANINGFUL CONNECTION.”


167. “The ultimate act of integration is when the rising strong process becomes a daily practice - a way of thinking about our emotions and our stories. Rather than running from our SFDs, we dig into them knowing they can unlock the fears and doubts that get in the way of our wholeheartedness. We know that rumbling is going to be tough, but we head straight into it because we know running is harder. We wade into the brackish delta with open hearts and minds because we’ve come to learn that the wisdom in the stories of our falls makes us braver.”


168. “If you put shame into a petri dish and douse it with these three things, it will grow exponentially into every corner and crevice of our lives. The antidote to shame is empathy. If we reach out and share our shame experience with someone who responds with empathy, shame dissipates.”


169. “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive. ”


170. “Our silence about grief serves no one. We can’t heal if we can’t grieve; we can’t forgive if we can’t grieve. We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend. C.S. Lewis wrote, ‘No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.’ We can’t rise strong when we’re on the run.”


171. “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind. ”


172. “AT THE END OF THE DAY, AT THE END OF THE WEEK, AT THE END OF MY LIFE, I WANT TO SAY THAT I CONTRIBUTED MORE THAN I CRITICIZED.”


173. “feel, and think—it comes for our bones. Anguish often causes us to physically crumple in on ourselves, literally bringing us to our knees or forcing us all the way to the ground.”


174. “Each of the stories we tell and hear is like a small flicker of light - when we have enough of them, we will set the world on fire. But I don’t think we can do it without story. It doesn’t matter what community is in question or what the conflict appears to be on the surface, resolution and change will require people to own, share, and rumble with stories.”


175. “Compassion is not a virtue — it is a commitment. It’s not something we have or don’t have — it’s something we choose to practice. ”


176. “When I see people stand fully in their truth, or when I see someone fall down, get back up, and say, ‘Damn. That really hurt, but this is important to me, and I’m going in again’—my gut reaction is, ‘What a badass.”


177. Here are my shame 1-2-3s: 1. We all have it. 2. We’re all afraid to talk about it. 3. The less we talk about it, the more control it has over us.


178. Researchers believe that rumination is a strong predictor of depression, makes us more likely to pay attention to negative things, and zaps our motivation…


179. “‘NO REGRETS’ HAS BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH DARING AND ADVENTURE, BUT I DISAGREE. THE IDEA OF ‘NO REGRETS’ DOESN’T MEAN LIVING WITH COURAGE, IT MEANS LIVING WITHOUT REFLECTION. TO LIVE WITHOUT REGRET IS TO BELIEVE WE HAVE NOTHING TO LEARN, NO AMENDS TO MAKE, AND NO OPPORTUNITY TO BE BRAVER WITH OUR LIVES.”


180. “To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.”


181. “Raising children who are hopeful and who have the courage to be vulnerable means stepping back and letting them experience disappointment, deal with conflict, learn how to assert themselves, and have the opportunity to fail. If we’re always following our children into the arena, hushing the critics, and assuring their victory, they’ll never learn that they have the ability to dare greatly on their own.”


182. “The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time. ”


183. “Additionally, we have compelling research that shows that language does more than just communicate emotion, it can actually shape what we’re feeling. Our understanding of our own and others’ emotions is shaped by how we perceive, categorize, and describe emotional experiences—and these interpretations rely heavily on language. Language”


184. “The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid — all in the same moment. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, being both fierce and kind.” – Brene Brown


185. “BLAME HAS AN INVERSE RELATIONSHIP WITH ACCOUNTABILITY. ACCOUNTABILITY BY DEFINITION IS A VULNERABLE PROCESS…BLAMING IS ONE OF THE REASONS WE MISS OUR OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMPATHY.”


186. “PEOPLE WILL DO ALMOST ANYTHING TO NOT FEEL PAIN, INCLUDING CAUSING PAIN AND ABUSING POWER.”


187. And I wish you joy and happiness. But above all of this, I wish you love. — DOLLY PARTON, “I Will Always Love You” …Can you believe she wrote “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene” in the same day?


188. “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen. ”


189. “The idea that regret is a fair but tough teacher can really piss people off. “No regrets” has become synonymous with daring and adventure, but I disagree. The idea of “no regrets” doesn’t mean living with courage, it means living without reflection. To live without regret is to believe we have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with our lives.”


190. “To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.”


191. Looking back, I’ve never once regretted calling a time-out at home or work. Not once.


192. “I’ve spent over 20 years studying the emotions and experiences that bring meaning and purpose to our lives, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: We are hardwired for connection, and connecting requires courage, vulnerability, and conversation.”


193. “Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance. You’re going to confuse, piss off, and terrify lots of people - including yourself. One minute you’ll pray that the transformation stops, and the next minute you’ll pray that it never ends. You’ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time. At least that’s how I feel most of the time...brave, afraid, and very, very alive.”


194. “I’m not suggesting that we worry about worry, but it’s helpful to recognize that worrying is not a helpful coping mechanism, that we absolutely can learn how to control it, and that rather than suppressing worry, we need to dig into and address the emotion driving the thinking.”


195. “Blown” – get fully away (even if only for 10 minutes)


196. “WE CAN’T ASK PEOPLE TO GIVE US SOMETHING THAT WE BELIEVE WE ARE NOT WORTHY OF RECEIVING.”


197. “Practice thinking about the temporary nature of most setbacks. Will this issue be a big deal in five minutes? Five hours? Five days? Five months? Five years?” Brene Brown “Atlas of the Heart”


198. “WHEN WE’RE BUSY PLEASING, PERFECTING, AND PERFORMING, WE END UP SAYING YES A LOT WHEN WE MEAN NO.”


199. “Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run, but it will never make you less afraid.”


200. “The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.”


201. “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.” — Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth


202. “Choosing to be curious is choosing to be vulnerable because it requires us to surender to uncertainty. We have to ask questions, admit to not knowing, risk being told that we shouldn't be asking, and, sometimes, make discoveries that lead to discomfort.”


203. “… [W]hether calm is a practice or something more inherent, there are behaviors specific to cultivating and maintaining calm that include a lot of self-questioning. The process seems to be centered on breath, perspective taking, and curiosity:


204. “Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is ‘cor’ — the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart. ’ Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as ‘ordinary courage. ’”


205. “Resentment is the feeling of frustration, judgment, anger, “better than,” and/ or hidden envy related to perceived unfairness or injustice. It’s an emotion that we often experience when we fail to set boundaries or ask for what we need, or when expectations let us down because they were based on things we can’t control, like what other people think, what they feel, or how they’re going to react.”


206. “I define calm as creating perspective and mindfulness while managing emotional reactivity.


207. “Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”


208. “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”


209. “In a world where perfectionism, pleasing, and proving are used as armor to protect our egos and our feelings, it takes a lot of courage to show up and be all in when we can’t control the outcome. It also takes discipline and self-awareness to understand what to share and with whom. Vulnerability is not oversharing, it’s sharing with people who have earned the right to hear our stories and our experiences.”


210. Abby Wambach’s book Wolfpack. …“You will not always be the goal scorer. When you are not, you better be rushing toward her.”


211. “True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are. ”


212. “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.”


213. Self-trust is normally the first casualty of failure or mistakes. We stop trusting ourselves when we hurt others, get hurt, feel shame, or question our worth.


214. …There is no courage without vulnerability. Courage requires the willingness to lean into uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.


215. “Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.”


216. “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows. ”


217. “cultural example of narrative takeover is the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a life-affirming accountability movement to call attention to the violence being perpetrated against Black people. But rather than listening, learning, and believing the stories of injustice, systemic racism, and pain, groups of white people centered themselves with “all lives matter” and “blue lives matter.” There was never a narrative of “white lives and police lives don’t matter” in this movement. This was an attempt to, once again, decenter Black lives and take over the narrative.”


218. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. ”


219. Talking about grief is difficult in a world that wants us to “get over it.”


220. “When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose. ”


221. “One of the biggest surprises in this research was learning that fitting in and belonging are not the same thing. In fact, fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging. Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”


222. “That’s what anxiety feels like to me. Escalating loss of control, worst-case-scenario thinking and imagery, and total uncertainty.”


223. “Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame. ”


224. “The entire premise of this book is that language has the power to define our experiences.”


225. “People often silence themselves, or ‘agree to disagree’ without fully exploring the actual nature of the disagreement, for the sake of protecting a relationship and maintaining connection. But when we avoid certain conversations, and never fully learn how the other person feels about all of the issues, we sometimes end up making assumptions that not only perpetuate but deepen misunderstandings, and that can generate resentment. ”


226. “We don’t walk in other people’s shoes. And to pretend we do causes pain. We have to listen to people’s experiences in their own shoes. Believe them and believe them when that does not reconcile with out own experiences.”


227. Other research has found that frequent experiences of jealousy combined with problematic alcohol use are related specifically to higher levels of physical assault and sexual coercion.


228. “Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”


229. “Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially your own. No one belongs here more than you.”


230. “Regret is a tough but fair teacher. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life.”


231. “We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying.”


232. “To know that you can navigate the wilderness on your own--to know that you can stay true to your beliefs, trust yourself, and survive it--that is true belonging.”


233. “I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow — that’s vulnerability.”


234. “Heart is sea, language is shore. Whatever sea includes, will hit the shore.” ~Rumi


235. ”Story stewardship means honoring the sacred nature of story. The ones we share and the ones we hear. And knowing that we’ve been entrusted with something incredibly valuable…. We are good stewards of the stories we tell by trusting them to the people who have earned the right to hear them… We are good stewards of the stories we hear by listening, being curious, affirming, and believing people when they tell us how they have experienced something. When we are reckless with people’s stories we diminish our own humanity”


236. “Stay in your own lane. Comparison kills creativity and joy.”


237. “THE NEAR ENEMY OF LOVE IS ATTACHMENT…TRUE LOVE ALLOWS, HONORS, AND APPRECIATES; ATTACHMENT GRASPS, DEMANDS, NEEDS, AND AIMS TO POSSESS.”


238. “We cannot grow when we are in shame, and we can’t use shame to change ourselves or others.”


239. There are Different Kinds of Anxiety and Grief. And we can’t Always Just Deal With Them on Our Own.


240. “IN FACT RESEARCH SHOWS THAT THE PROCESS OF LABELING EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE IS RELATED TO GREATER EMOTION REGULATION AND PSYCHOSOCIAL WELL-BEING.”


241. “Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them — we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. ”


242. Six Ideas for Mothering Yourself by Caring for Your Inner Child


243. “I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential. ”


244. But any mechanism that helps one understand things from others’ points of view—love, critical thinking, wisdom, engagement with members of target groups—at least makes hate less likely, because it is harder to hate people if you understand that. in many respects they are not all so different from you.


245. “I’m slowly learning how to straddle the tension that comes with understanding that I am tough and tender, brave and afraid, strong and struggling - all of these things, all of the time. I’m working on letting go of having to be one or the other and embracing the wholeness of wholeheartedness. The roles in my life - partner, mother, teacher, researcher, leader, entrepreneur - all require me to bring my whole self to the table. We can’t be ‘all in’ if only parts of us show up. If we’re not living, loving, parenting, or leading with our whole, integrated hearts, where doing it halfheartedly.”


246. “Very few people can handle being held accountable without rationalizing, blaming, or shutting down;”


247. “The Psychology of Curiosity” by George Lewenstein


248. “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”


249. “DARING IS NOT SAYING “I’M WILLING TO RISK FAILURE.” DARING IS SAYING “I KNOW I WILL EVENTUALLY FAIL, AND I’M STILL ALL IN.”


250. “We are born makers. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands.”


251. “More freudenfreude, less schadenfreude.”


252. “Meaningful connection is a daring and vulnerable practice that requires grounded confidence, the courage to walk alongside others in story stewardship.”


253. “Show up for people in pain and don’t look away. ”


254. “Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.”— Brené Brown


255. “1. Calm is an intention. Do we want to infect people with more anxiety, or heal ourselves and the people around us with calm? As the psychologist and writer Harriet Lerner says, 'Anxiety is contagious. Intensity and reactivity only breed more of the same. Calm is also contagious. Nothing is more important than getting a grip on your own reactivity.'


256. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path. ”


257. “…with gratitude we become greater participants in our lives as opposed to spectators.” - Robert Emmons


258. “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.”


259. “Every story matters...We are all worthy of telling our stories and having them heard. We all need to be seen and honored in the same way that we all need to breathe.”


260. Be aware of your light.


261. “VULNERABILITY IS NOT OVERSHARING, IT’S SHARING WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT TO HEAR OUR STORY.”


262. “Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.”


263. “…labels are important because they help us know what to do next.”


264. “I once heard theologian Rob Bell define despair as “the belief that tomorrow will be just like today.” When we are in struggle and/or experiencing pain, despair—that belief that there is no end to what we’re experiencing—is a desperate and claustrophobic feeling. We can’t figure a way out of or through the struggle and the suffering.”


265. “The more we diminish our own pain, or rank it compared to what others have survived, the less empathetic we are to everyone.”


266. When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. • But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, “Oh yes—I already have everything that I really need.” — The 14th DALAI LAMA


267. “HERE’S WHAT I THINK INTEGRITY IS: IT’S CHOOSING COURAGE OVER COMFORT, CHOOSING WHAT’S RIGHT OVER WHAT’S FUN, FAST, OR EASY. AND PRACTICING YOUR VALUES.”


268. “Dehumanizing and holding people accountable are mutually exclusive...Challenging ourselves to live by higher standards requires constant diligence and awareness.”


269. If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in. (Favorite Altas of the Heart quote and section


270. Therefore, the emotions and experiences categorized in this book span beyond what many researchers would call “basic.”


271. “Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”


272. “A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, ‘My story matters because I matter.’ A movement where we can take to the streets with our messy, imperfect, wild, stretch-marked, wonderful, heartbreaking, grace-filled, and joyful lives. A movement fueled by the freedom that comes when we stop pretending that everything is okay when it isn’t. A call that rises up from our bellies when we find the courage to celebrate those intensely joyful moments even though we’ve convinced ourselves that savoring happiness is inviting disaster.”


273. “When someone shares their hopes and dreams with us, we are witnessing deep courage and vulnerability. Celebrating their successes is easy, but when disappointment happens, it’s an incredible opportunity for meaningful connection.”


274. We’ve found that across cultures, most of us were raised to believe that being vulnerable is being weak. This sets up an unresolvable tension for most of us, because we were also raised to be brave.


275. “So if we decide to be brave and stay in the conversation, how do we push through the vulnerability and stay civil? ... explicitly address the underlying intentions. What is the conversation about, and what is it really about?”


276. “We are wired for connection. But the key is that, in any given moment of it, it has to be real.”


277. “If empathy is the skill or ability to tap into our own experiences in order to connect with an experience someone is relating to us, compassion is the willingness to be open to this process.”


278. “WHEN WE REJECT THE TRUTH OF SOMEONE’S STORY–THE ULTIMATE FAILURE OF STORY STEWARDSHIP–IT’S OFTEN BECAUSE WE’VE STEALTHILY CENTERED OURSELVES IN THEIR STORY, AND THE NARRATIVE TAKEOVER IS ABOUT PROTECTING OUR EGO, BEHAVIOR, OR PRIVILEGE. THE LESS DIVERSE OUR LIVED EXPERIENCES, THE MORE LIKELY WE ARE TO FIND OURSELVES STRUGGLING WITH NARRATIVE TAKEOVER OR NARRATIVE TAP-OUT.”


279. “When a group or community doesn’t tolerate dissent and disagreement, it forgoes any experience of inextricable connection. There is no true belonging, only an unspoken treaty to hate the same people. This fuels our spiritual crisis of disconnection.”


280. “As human beings we can only experience life emotionally.” - Eduardo Bericat


281. “WORRYING AND ANXIETY GO TOGETHER, BUT WORRY IS NOT AN EMOTION; IT’S THE THINKING PART OF ANXIETY.”


282. “Numb the dark and you numb the light. ”


283. Last, I know I will never have to stop learning these things. Over and over. …The learning will never stop.


284. “Much of our work now is more a matter of “rehumanizing.” That starts in the same place dehumanizing starts--with words and images...We must never tolerate dehumanization--the primary instrument of violence that has been used in every genocide recorded throughout history. When we engage in dehumanizing rhetoric or promote dehumanizing images, we diminish our own humanity in the process...[it] says volumes about who we are and the degree to which we’re operating in our integrity.”


285. “WERE THE COMFORT AND SAFETY OF THAT PAST EXISTENCE REAL? IF SO, WERE THEY AT SOMEONE ELSE’S EXPENSE?”


286. “This is not that different from what can happen to us when we are unable to articulate our emotions. We feel hopeless or we feel a destructive level of anger.”


287. “2. Do we match the pace of anxiety, or do we slow things down with breath and tone?


288. “VULNERABILITY IS NOT WINNING OR LOSING. IT’S HAVING THE COURAGE TO SHOW UP WHEN YOU CAN’T CONTROL THE OUTCOME.”


289. “The real questions for parents should be: ‘Are you engaged? Are you paying attention?’ If so, plan to make lots of mistakes and bad decisions. Imperfect parenting moments turn into gifts as our children watch us try to figure out what went wrong and how we can do better next time. The mandate is not to be perfect and raise happy children. Perfection doesn’t exist, and I’ve found what makes children happy doesn’t always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.”


290. “During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.” - Dr. Vivek Murthy


291. The idea of “no regrets” doesn’t mean living with courage, it means living without reflection. To live without regret is to believe we have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with our lives.


292. “Empathy is not relating to an experience, it’s connecting to what someone is feeling about an experience.”


293. “In a world where perfectionism, pleasing, and proving are used as armor to protect our egos and our feelings, it takes a lot of courage to show up and be all in when we can’t control the outcome. […] Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”


294. There are Two Types of Comparison and Both Can Hurt You


295. “Shame is a social emotion. Shame happens between people and it heals between people. Even if I feel it alone, shame is the way I see myself through someone else’s eyes. Self-compassion is often the first step to healing shame—we need to be kind to ourselves before we can share our stories with someone else.”


296. On the bright side, these events provided the catalytic opportunity to find and work with a skilled therapist on a weekly basis


297. “Avoidance, the second coping strategy for anxiety, is not showing up and often spending a lot of energy zigzagging around and away from that thing that already feels like it’s consuming us. And”


298. I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves. Even when we don’t know where we are.


299. “But those who are able to distinguish between a range of various emotions “do much, much better at managing the ups and downs of ordinary existence than those who see everything in black and white.”


300. “Without understanding how our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors work together, it’s almost impossible to find our way back to ourselves and each other. When we don’t understand how our emotions shape our thoughts and decisions, we become disembodied from our own experiences and disconnected from each other.”


301. “In our research, we found that everyone who showed a deep capacity for joy had one thing in common: they practiced gratitude. In the midst of joy, there’s often a quiver, a shudder of vulnerability. Rather than using that as a warning sign to practice imagining the worst-case scenario, the people who lean into joy use the quiver as a reminder to practice gratitude.”


302. “An intolerance for uncertainty is an important contributing factor to all types of anxiety. Those of us who are generally uncomfortable with uncertainty are more likely to experience anxiety in specific situations as well as to have trait anxiety and anxiety disorders. Our anxiety often leads to one of two coping mechanisms: worry or avoidance. Unfortunately, neither of these coping strategies is very effective.”


303. “Conflict transformation rather than...conflict resolution. To me, the latter suggests going back to a previous state of affairs, and has a connotation that there may be a winner or a loser. [Conflict transformation has] the opportunity to create something new.”


304. “There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise.”


305. “In my work, I’ve found that moving out of powerlessness, and even despair, requires hope. Hope is not an emotion: It’s a cognitive process - a thought process made up of what researcher C. R. Snyder called the trilogy of ‘goals, pathways, and agency.’ Hope happens when we can set goals, have the tenacity and perseverance to pursue those goals, and believe in our own abilities to act. Snyder also found that hope is learned. When boundaries, consistency, and support are all in place, children learn it from their parents, but even if we didn’t get it as kids, we can still learn hope as adults. It’s just tougher when we’re older because we have to resist and unlearn old habits, like the tendency to give up when things get tough.”


306. “I THOUGHT FAITH WOULD SAY, “I’LL TAKE AWAY THE PAIN AND DISCOMFORT,” BUT WHAT IT ENDED UP SAYING WAS, “I’LL SIT WITH YOU IN IT.”


307. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”


308. “As someone who has to work on calm as a practice rather than a trait, I’ve shortened this to two quick questions I ask myself when I feel fear, panic, or anxiety rising:


309. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”


310. “Most of us are showing up to ensure that people’s basic needs are met and their civil rights are upheld. But we’re also working to make sure that everyone gets to experience what brings meaning to life: love, belonging, and joy. These are essential, irreducible needs for all of us. And we can’t give people what we don’t have. We can’t fight for what’s not in our hearts.”


311. “The biggest potential for helping us overcome shame is this: We are ‘those people. ’ The truth is…we are the others. Most of us are one paycheck, one divorce, one drug-addicted kid, one mental health illness, one sexual assault, one drinking binge, one night of unprotected sex, or one affair away from being ‘those people’ — the ones we don’t trust, the ones we pity, the ones we don’t let our kids play with, the ones bad things happen to, the ones we don’t want living next door. ”


312. “The foundation of courage is vulnerability--the ability to navigate uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It takes courage to open ourselves up to joy...joy is probably the most vulnerable emotion we experience. We’re afraid that if we allow ourselves to feel lit, we’ll get blindsided by disaster or disappointment. That’s why in moments of real joy, many of us dress-rehearse tragedy...I call it foreboding joy. The only way to combat foreboding joy is gratitude.”


313. “When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable. If we dismiss all the criticism, we lose out on important feedback, but if we subject ourselves to the hatefulness, our spirits gets crushed. It’s a tightrope, shame resilience is the balance bar, and the safety net below is the one or two people in our lives who can help us reality-check the criticism and cynicism.”


314. “Will freaking out help? The answer is always no.”

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