I listened to Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown. (OK, I listened to part of it. But audiobooks and I have a complicated relationship, and I didn’t finish it before it was due back at the library.)
Given my unpleasant relationship with my family of origin, this quote spoke to me. There is something comforting about the end…but I’ll talk about it after you read it.
Also, given that I’m transcribing from an audiobook, I can’t guarantee that the punctuation is as you’d see it in the book.
“Even in the context of suffering … Not belonging in our families is still one of the most dangerous hurts. That’s because it has the power to break out heart, our spirit, and our sense of self-worth… And when those things break, there are only three outcomes …
“One, you live in constant pain and seek relief by numbing it and/or inflicting pain on others.
“Two, you deny your pain and your denial ensures you pass it on to those around you and down to your children.
“Or number three, you find the courage to own the pain and develop a level of empathy and compassion for yourself and for others that allows you to spot hurt in the world in a very unique way.”
That bit at the end—spotting hurt in the world in a very unique way—is like a consolation prize. “You didn’t have what you needed when you needed it, and sometimes you still don’t. People who haven’t experienced it don’t understand it and often, you’re blamed for what was inflicted on you. But you get to have the capacity to help others the way you wished you had been helped.”
Better than passing it on. And hopefully, helping someone else not to pass it on.