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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone Quotes

21 of the best book quotes from Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
  1. #1
    “When a group or community doesn’t tolerate dissent and disagreement, it forgoes any experience of inextricable connection. There is no true belonging, only an unspoken treaty to hate the same people. This fuels our spiritual crisis of disconnection.”
  2. #2
    “There will be times when standing alone feels too hard, too scary, and we’ll doubt our ability to make our way through the uncertainty. Someone, somewhere, will say, ‘Don’t do it. You don’t have what it takes to survive the wilderness.’ This is when you reach deep into your heart and remind yourself, ‘I am the wilderness.‘”
  3. #3
    “Much of our work now is more a matter of “rehumanizing.” That starts in the same place dehumanizing starts--with words and images...We must never tolerate dehumanization--the primary instrument of violence that has been used in every genocide recorded throughout history. When we engage in dehumanizing rhetoric or promote dehumanizing images, we diminish our own humanity in the process...[it] says volumes about who we are and the degree to which we’re operating in our integrity.”
  4. #4
    “People are hard to hate close-up. Move in.
    Speak truth to bullshit. Be civil.
    Hold hands. With strangers.
    Strong back, soft front, wild heart.”
  5. #5
    “Every story matters...We are all worthy of telling our stories and having them heard. We all need to be seen and honored in the same way that we all need to breathe.”
  6. #6
    “Conflict transformation rather than...conflict resolution. To me, the latter suggests going back to a previous state of affairs, and has a connotation that there may be a winner or a loser. [Conflict transformation has] the opportunity to create something new.”
  7. #7
    “The definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. But vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our most accurate measure of courage. When the barrier is our belief about vulnerability, the question becomes: Are we willing to show up and be seen when we can’t control the outcome? When the barrier to vulnerability is about safety, the question becomes: Are we willing to create courageous spaces so we can be fully seen? A soft and open front is not being weak; it’s being brave, it’s being the wilderness.”
  8. #8
    “Dehumanizing and holding people accountable are mutually exclusive...Challenging ourselves to live by higher standards requires constant diligence and awareness.”
  9. #9
    “So if we decide to be brave and stay in the conversation, how do we push through the vulnerability and stay civil? ... explicitly address the underlying intentions. What is the conversation about, and what is it really about?”
  10. #10
    “Belonging so fully to yourself that you’re willing to stand alone is a wilderness--an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared...it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand. ”
  11. #11
    “The more we diminish our own pain, or rank it compared to what others have survived, the less empathetic we are to everyone.”
  12. #12
    “Most of us are showing up to ensure that people’s basic needs are met and their civil rights are upheld. But we’re also working to make sure that everyone gets to experience what brings meaning to life: love, belonging, and joy. These are essential, irreducible needs for all of us. And we can’t give people what we don’t have. We can’t fight for what’s not in our hearts.”
  13. #13
    “Our work is to get to the place where we like ourselves and are concerned when we judge ourselves too harshly or allow others to silence us. The wilderness demands this level of self-love and self-respect.”
  14. #14
    “The foundation of courage is vulnerability--the ability to navigate uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It takes courage to open ourselves up to joy...joy is probably the most vulnerable emotion we experience. We’re afraid that if we allow ourselves to feel lit, we’ll get blindsided by disaster or disappointment. That’s why in moments of real joy, many of us dress-rehearse tragedy...I call it foreboding joy. The only way to combat foreboding joy is gratitude.”
  15. #15
    “We are wired for connection. But the key is that, in any given moment of it, it has to be real.”
  16. #16
    “An experience of collective pain does not deliver us from grief or sadness; it is a ministry of presence. These moments remind us that we are not alone in our darkness and that our broken heart is connected to every heart that has known pain since the beginning of time.”
  17. #17
    “To know that you can navigate the wilderness on your own--to know that you can stay true to your beliefs, trust yourself, and survive it--that is true belonging.”
  18. #18
    “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.”
  19. #19
    “True belonging is not passive. It’s not the belonging that comes with just joining a group. It’s not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it’s safer. It’s a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who we are. We want true belonging, but it takes tremendous courage to knowingly walk into hard moments.”
  20. #20
    “Carl Jung wrote, ‘Only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life.’ We are complex beings who wake up every day and fight against being labeled and diminished with stereotypes and characterizations that don’t reflect our fullness. Yet when we don’t risk standing on our own and speaking out, when the options laid before us force us into the very categories we resist, we perpetuate our own disconnection and loneliness. When we are willing to risk venturing into the wilderness, and becoming our own wilderness, we feel the deepest connection to our true self and to what matters most. ”
  21. #21
    “Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially your own. No one belongs here more than you.”
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