Christmas Light Reflections after Braving the Wilderness

Conneaut Lake, PA Christmas Light Tour on the Barbara J

Conneaut Lake, PA Christmas Light Tour on the Barbara J

Christmas Light Reflections after Braving the Wilderness.

This past weekend was a gathering of The Best Book Club Ever, where we talked about one of my newest favorite books, “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown.

So I already told you how much I love this book.  Remember?  

I couldn’t wait for our book club discussion about it, and it did not disappoint.  In fact, it empowered.  It really connected me with a special group of family and friends in a meaningful way.

There is so much I could say about it…

About how I connected right from the start when Brene talked about “not belonging” to her own family.

This paragraph sucked me in:

“Even in the context of suffering—poverty, violence, human rights violations—not belonging in our families is still one of the most dangerous hurts. That’s because it has the power to break our heart, our spirit, and our sense of self-worth. It broke all three for me. And when those things break, there are only three outcomes, something I’ve borne witness to in my life and in my work: 1. You live in constant pain and seek relief by numbing it and/or inflicting it on others; 2. You deny your pain, and your denial ensures that you pass it on to those around you and down to your children; or 3. You find the courage to own the pain and develop a level of empathy and compassion for yourself and others that allows you to spot hurt in the world in a unique way. I certainly tried the first two. Only through sheer grace did I make my way to the third.” 

But there is so much more…

About authenticity, vulnerability…
and dehumanization.

About the paradox of things like love, the NRA, politics and religion (just to name a few).

And though there was and always will be great differences in opinion among the group on these important issues and values, everyone respectfully listened to each other share, and we grew closer for it.

So after three or four hours of powerfully connecting conversation and breakthroughs in belonging, our gang bundled up in parkas, knit hats and woolen mittens and boarded the infamous Barbara J Paddle Wheel Boat on Conneaut Lake to set sail at 10pm and spend an hour touring the lake and the homes surrounding it lit up with Christmas trees and colorful lights.

25 degrees. Snow flurries. Dark night. Bright lights. Even brighter spirits.

These are my Christmas light reflections after Braving the Wilderness.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi