Last week, a group of friends and I went to see Dr. Brené Brown speak in Houston about her new book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. Look at my face in this picture–it should be in the dictionary next to the definition for fangirl:
Two things real quick:
- DR. BROWN IS AMAZING. I simultaneously want to be her and also not be her just so I can listen to her talk for the rest of my life. If you can see her while she’s on tour, do so. She’s a tough, kind, intelligent, funny, down-to-earth Texan. Her passion for life and her love for Houston is so evident. I admire her very much.
- I hope you too have a group of people in your life who can walk with you on your journey of self-discovery and self-improvement, who can go to amazing speaking events with you and who can provide different perspectives on the things you’re dealing with. I’m so so grateful for all of the people in my life, including this beautiful bunch of souls.
Anyway, in her speech, Dr. Brown referenced several Maya Angelou quotations as being influential in her life, including this gem:
I belong to myself. I’m very proud of that. I am very concerned with how I look at Maya. I like Maya, very much. I like the humor and the courage very much. And when I find myself acting in a way that doesn’t please me, then I have to deal with that.
This idea of belonging to yourself, of being first accountable to yourself and comfortable in your own skin, and considering that “belonging,” had never really occurred to me in just this way. In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown talked about how vulnerability and allowing others to see you allows for real connection in your life–I had always naturally assumed that “belonging” then naturally followed from there.
Not so. According to Dr. Brown–and Maya Angelou–belonging comes from how your relate to yourself, not how you relate to other people. In the words of Buckeroo Bonzai (emphasis mine):
No matter where you go… there you are.
You can never “belong” anywhere until you’re comfortable belonging to yourself. You may connect with other people, you may not. But, in the words of Dr. Brown, “no one belongs here more than you.” Once you accept that, you can stop worrying about whether or not you’re “where you need to be.” Because no matter where you are, you’re there, and you belong there.
If you want to see more from Maya Angelou, here’s an excerpt of her 1973 interview with Bill Moyers, which includes the quotation above. I love how she speaks. I love how she thinks. I get tears in my eyes every time I watch this.
Much much love, everyone. – Lindsay
Mostly unrelated, and hopefully not undermining Maya Angelou’s amazingness, but all of that talk of fangirling made me think of this hilarious video from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Rachel Bloom cracks me up. Is anyone else super pumped about Season Three???? Eeee! 🙂