Ego-less conversation

My brain is spinning and I’m just trying to touchdown. So many people want me to touchdown, but I need a moment to spin.

I recently finished Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. Brene Brown is a shame and vulnerability researcher out of Houston, Texas. You can get a sense of the book and of Brene here in her TED talk.

Her writing is approachable. Her personality is approachable, and all of this forms a sense of acceptance within her work, which is important because she’s talking about the most intimidating of all the emotions–vulnerability. The most intimidating of all the affects–shame.

The book was recommended to me several months ago by some friends, who read it for a work book club. The book sat on my book table for several months, overshadowed by library books and short story collections I deemed more worthy of my time. I opened the cover once, perused the first page, and returned the book, this time to my floor, where I thought it would stay until my friend requested I return it to her. I wanted to be able to join into the shouts of “DG!” from my friends with authenticity and knowledge of context, but I wasn’t sure the book was for me. I told a friend, “I feel like I’ve already worked through what she has to say. I feel like it’s not really for me.”

I read the book in its entirety in about a week. Over lunch, before bed, in the morning. But again, this was mostly due to Brene’s language use and the somewhat repetitiveness of the book. This was also due in part to my strong interest in the subject and my accuracy of statement–this isn’t really for me.

Some of the book was for me in that it enabled me to put words to my experience. Isn’t that why we read so much of what we do? I needed that frame for my picture.

So much of what Brene is interested in applies to what I do and what I hope to research for my PhD. I am interested in the world, sure, but only in how it helps us to frame ourselves. I am interested in learning ultimately because it gives me a clearer picture of myself, of yourself, of ourselves.

I’m interested in confronting our egos because they are what stand in our way. They are what keep us up at night, keep us in bed in the morning, spark the conflict with our coworkers, our children, our partners. What motivates our parents to teach us the lessons they do. I want to have ego-less conversation. I want to wake up in the morning and find that I’ve finally shattered that shell. The ultimate pair of sweatpants, I’d argue, is lack of ego.

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