The Gifts of Imperfection

The Book Nook

Brené Brown. Wow.

Guys, I truly do not love non-fiction. In fact, I avoid it as much as possible. My husband devours business books, faith books, leadership books, and I just look at him like, “Read a story, Boo.” Outside of literary non-fiction – Melanie Shankle, Shauna Niequist, and Rachel Hollis, I just want fake characters and crazy plots filled with imagery and beautifully structured sentences.

I doubt I will ever begin reading an exorbitant amount of non-fiction pieces, especially those filled with research and statistics, but I would definitely sit down and gladly read another one of Brené’s pieces. She is officially my kind of people – authentic, spicy, and straight to the point. She uses her own life in most of the examples presented in The Gifts of Imperfection, and she is not afraid to address topics that make her seem less than perfect.

Like I mentioned at the start, a non-fiction book is not usually my book of choice, but in the next month, I will embark on a new journey with my yoga studio. I’ve decided to complete a 200 hour TEP yoga training, and this book was on our “must read” list.

When I first started The Gifts of Imperfection, I didn’t know what to expect, but in the long run, so much of Brené Brown’s study spoke to my soul. Shame. A desire to feel whole. Shame. Letting go of lies. And more shame.

Shame is not a word I tend to use often, but it is something I think we can all relate to. In this book, shame is heavily addressed and brought into the light. With work so detailed, it’s hard for me to put into words all that this study covered, and my knowledge can never get as deep as the truly talented gifts of Brown. So, instead of giving a huge long review, I have decided to put into practice a piece of the magic and skills that are discussed in the ten guideposts because, “We cannot selectively numb emotions” and hope for change. Numbing the bad and scary emotions means that, “We will also numb the positive emotions.”

“Shame needs three things to grow out of control in our lives: secrecy, silence, and judgment.”


It has taken me five years to get comfortable enough to finally share and speak truth into this shame that I carry in my back pocket daily. At the start of 2019, I was once again hit with the awareness that this three-letter word is mine until Jesus decides to take it from me. I became aware that it is time to again seek and receive help. With that being said, I’ve been working on some side writing projects to process all that I have been learning. Although these words are not from one of those pieces, it has stemmed from a much more intimate piece that I am developing…

These words have nothing to do with you. Not you as a person. These words are meant to address behaviors. They address the action and speech used throughout life. In the end, these words are more for me than for you because I am a four on the Enneagram test; I process through words. These words are about putting my reality into the world, the world that I have been so afraid to get raw and real with. It is about me feeling unashamed of something that is so much a part of my story. It has to do with me speaking truth into the shame that daily says, “I am not enough.” This writing session, although educational, is a teaching moment that will hopefully enlighten you to the fact that your occasional joke is somebody’s serious struggle.

OCD. We romanticize it. We make jokes. We label our Type-A friends with these three little letters. We think nothing of it when we say, “I’m so OCD; I can’t stand a messy house.” In fact we throw that title around in every day conversations more than we realize. “Ugh, he’s so OCD about everything.”

The reality. The hard truth is that OCD is so much more. For some, it is so scary that people go through seasons where they can barely function in society. Some go through their every day life, and you have no idea they are struggling. OCD is not always seen and observed by the eye. It is not always affiliated with the plague of tapping, hand washing, or picking. Yes, those are scary. However, OCD is darker than those traits. It is wrapped up in lies about contamination, religion, sex, harm, and control.

To those who know me on a surface level, you would not truly know the depth of my OCD; you may say it makes sense because I am organized, but if you knew the level of the obsessive thoughts that consume me daily, you would see that organization has nothing to do with these traits.

OCD is a chemical imbalance, much like depression, that controls you. About three percent of Americans suffer with OCD each year.

I am one of those three percent. And today, I choose to not feel shame and fear because of those three letters.

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