My reading has led me to all sorts of directions, mostly away from my reading challenge and more into psychological/spiritual reading. I was at the thick of reading Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage when my reading took a turn and led me to one book after another. While I would love to review these books, I would have to do that some other time. Today, let me share what I have read and a few excerpts/quotes from each book.
- Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly
“…the word vulnerability is derived from the Latin word vulnerare, meaning ‘to wound.’ The definition includes ‘capable of being wounded’ and ‘open to attack or damage.’ Merriam-Webster defines weakness as the inability to withstand attack or wounding. Just from a linguistic perspective, it’s clear that these are very different concepts, and in fact, one could argue that weakness often stems from a lack of vulnerability–when we don’t acknowledge how ans where we’re tender, we’re more at risk of being hurt.”
“If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging…Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us…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.”
“Hope is a function of struggle.”
2. Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton
“Prayer if it is real is an acknowledgement of our finitude, our need, our openness to be changed, our readiness to be surprised, yes astonished by the beams of love.”
“My true identity lies hidden in God’s call to my freedom and my response to him. This means I must use my freedom in order to love, with full responsibility and authenticity, not merely receiving a form imposed on me by external forces, or forming my own life according to an approved social pattern, but directing my love to the personal reality of my brother, and embracing God’s will in its naked, often unpenetrable mystery.”
3. Dialogues with Silence by Thomas Merton
” What can I say about the emptiness and freedom into whose door I entered for the half-minute, which was enough for a lifetime, because it was a new life altogether? There is nothing with which to compare it. I could call it nothingness, but it is an infinitely fruitful freedom, to lack all things and to lack my self in the fresh air of that happiness that seems to be above all modes of being. Don’t let me build any more wall around it, or I will shut myself out.”
4. Discernment by Henri Nouwen
“…practice patience in discernment…Patience is the attitude that says we cannot force life but have to let it grow in its own time.”
“When I relate to my past with remorse, shame, or guilt, the danger is that I will harden my heart and be unable to discern the divine presence within and without. When my heart is hardened, it is closed, unavailable, and cold. A hardened heart is a heart in which remorse has turned into morbid introspection, shame into low self-esteem, and guilt into defensiveness.|
“A way to rephrase ‘waiting patiently in expectation’ is ‘standing vulnerable in the presence of our loving God.”
Initially, I wanted to expound on the ideas of each book and thread together the recurring theme, but the words would not find me. This is what I have been reading and it parallels the journey I’m taking at present.
What have you been reading lately?