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Daring Greatly de Brené Brown

I.

I´m talking about the betrayal of disengagement. Of not caring. Of letting the connection go. Of not being willing to devote time and effort to the relationship. The word betrayal evokes experiences of cheating, lying, breaking a confidence, failing to defend us to someone else who´s gossiping about us, and not choosing us over other people. These behaviors are certainly betrayals, but they´re not the only form of betrayal. If I had to choose the form of betrayal that emerged most frequently form my research and that was the most dangerous in terms of corroding the trust connection, I would say disengagement.
When the people we love or with whom we have a deep connection stop caring, stop paying attention, stop investing and stop fighting for the relationship, trust begins to slip away and hurt starts seeping in. Disengagement triggers shame and our greatest fears -the fears of being abandoned, unworthy, and unlovable.

II.

Shame is real pain. The importance of social acceptance and connection is reinforced by our brain chemistry, and the pain that results from social rejection and disconnection is real pain. (…) Neuroscience advances confirm what we´ve known all along: Emotions can hurt and cause pain. And just as we often struggle to define physical pain, describing emotional pain is difficult. Shame is particularly hard because it hates having words wrapped around it. It hates being spoken.

III.

Here´s the painful pattern that emerged from my research with men: We ask them to be vulnerable, we beg them to let us in, and we plead with them to tell us when they´re afraid, but the truth is that most women can´t stomach it. In those moments when real vulnerability happens in men, most of us recoil with fear and that fear manifests as everything from disappointment to disgust. And men are very smart.

IV.

Sometimes we´re not even aware that we´re oversharing as armor. We can purge our vulnerability or our shame stories out of total desperation to be heard. We blurt out something that is causing us immense pain because we can´t bear the thought of holding it in for one more second. Our intentions may not be purging or blurting to armor ourselves or push others away, but that´s the exact outcome of our behaviors. Whether we´re on the purging end or the receiving end of this experience, self-compassion is critical. We have to give ourselves a break when we share too much too soon, and we have to practice self-kindness when we feel like we weren´t able to hold space for someone who hit us with the floodlight. Judgment exacerbates disconnection.
 

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Shrill de Lindy West

I.

Women matter. Women are half of us. When you raise every woman to believe that we are insignificant, that we are broken, that we are sick, that the only cure is starvation and restraint and smallness; when you pit women against one another, keep us shackled by shame and hunger, obsessing over our flaws rather than our power and potential; when you leverage all of that to sap our money and our time – that moves the rudder of the world. It steers humanity toward conservatism and walls and the narrow interests of men, and it keeps us adrift in waters where women´s safety and humanity are secondary to men´s pleasure and convenience.

II.

This is the only advice I can offer. Each time something like this happens, take a breath and ask yourself, honestly: Am I dead? Did I die? Is the world different? Has my soul splintered into a thousand shards and scattered to the winds? I think you´ll find, in nearly every case, that you are fine. Life rolls on. No one cares. Very few things – apart from death and crime – have real, irreversible stakes, and when something with real stakes happens, humiliation is the least of your worries.

Figuraciones mías de Fernando Savater

I.

Tal es, precisamente, la función de los clásicos en literatura. ¿Les admiramos porque sabemos que es de buen tono cultural? Yo creo que lo más admirable en ellos es que hayan sabido ganarse la admiración de tantos a los largo de siglos. Porque lo importante -la savia de cualquier arte que quiere producir algo más que simple agrado- es la duradera admiración humana: cuenta más nuestra capacidad de admirar que los criterios con que se discierne (y a veces pretende codificarse) lo admirable.

II.

Pero también que las personas normales no aspiran al Reino de los Cielos ni a la perfección semejante a él sobre la tierra, sino a mejorar su condición de forma gradual y eficiente. Existe en la mayoría de las personas (…) una decencia común y corriente que consiste, según la glosa de Bruce Bégout, “en la facultad instintiva de percibir el bien y el mal, frente a cualquier forma de deducción trascendental a partir de un principio”. Es lo que hace que, más allá de izquierdas y derechas, existan buenas personas en los dos campos o a caballo entre ambos. En cuanto prevalecen, el mundo mejora. Por cierto, siguiendo esta vena de benevolencia utopista, Orwell descubrió cuando estuvo en Cataluña durante la guerra civil que los españoles tenemos una dosis de decencia innata, tonificada por un anarquismo omnipresente, más alta de lo normal y gracias a la cual nos salvaremos de los peores males…

Cuentos rebeldes de Francis Scott Fitzgerald

I.

Y, entonces, cuando había empezado a pensar que, después de todo, la vida apenas merecía la pena, encontré algo -sus ojos se dirigieron exultantes al cielo-. ¡Encontré algo! -Carlyle aguardó y las palabras llegaron como un torrente-. La valentía: simplemente eso. El coraje como norma de vida y algo a lo que ajustarse siempre. Empecé a levantar esa enorme fe en mí misma. Empecé a ver que lo que inconscientemente me había atraído de todos mis ídolos del pasado había sido alguna manifestación de valentía.

(…) La valentía significa para mí sumergirme en esa neblina descolorida y gris que se cierne sobre la vida no solo haciendo caso omiso de la gente y las circunstancias, sino ignorando el desconsuelo de vivir: una especie de insistencia en el valor de la vida y el valor de las cosas transitorias.

(…) Mi valentía es fe: fe en mi infinita capacidad de recuperación, fe en que la alegría volverá, y también la esperanza y la espontaneidad. Y siento que hasta que sea así tengo que mantener la boca cerrada, la frente bien alta y los ojos abiertos, sin necesidad de tontas sonrisas. He descendido a menudo al infierno sin lloriquear… y el infierno de las mujeres es más terrible que el de los hombres.

El pirata de la costa (1920)

II.

Con el despertar de sus emociones, su primera sensación fue un sentimiento de futilidad, un dolor sordo ante la profunda grisura de su vida. Un muro se había alzado súbitamente a su alrededor, encerrándole dentro, un muro tan firme y tangible como la pared blanca de su cuarto desnudo. Y con la percepción de ese muro, todo lo que había constituido la fantasía de su existencia (la informalidad, la alegre despreocupación, la milagrosa prodigalidad de la vida) se desvaneció.

El Gominola (1922)

III.

El presente era lo que contaba: trabajo que hacer y alguien a quien amar. Pero sin amar demasiado, porque sabía el daño que puede hacerle un padre a una hija o a una madre si tiende lazos emocionales demasiado estrechos: más adelante, al enfrentarse al mundo, la criatura buscará en la pareja con la que se case la misma ternura ciega y, como con toda probabilidad fracasará en el intento, se volverá contra el amor y la vida.

Retorno a Babilonia (1931)

If Beale Street Could Talk de James Baldwin

Those were great days and we were always very happy – but that was because of our father, not because of the city. It was because we knew our father loved us. Now, I can say, because I certainly know it now, the city didn´t. They looked at us though we were zebras – and, you know, some people like zebras and some people don´t. But nobody ever asks the zebra.

The Cruellest Month de Louise Penny

She knew that kindness kills. All her life she´d suspected this and so she´d only ever been cold and cruel. She´d faced kindness with cutting remarks. She´d curled her lips at smiling faces. She´d twisted every thoughtful, considerate act into an assault. Everyone who was nice to her, who was compassionate and loving, she rebuffed.

Because she´d loved them. Loved them with all her heart, and wouldn´t see them hurt. Because she´d known all her life that the surest way to hurt someone, to main and cripple them, was to be kind. If people were exposed, they die. Best to teach them to be armored, even if it meant she herself was forever alone. Sealed off from human touch.

Braving the Wilderness de Brené Brown

I.

True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn´t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.

II.

Acting culture can be brutal. The notes can simply say, “Not attractive enough. Too old. Too dark-skinned. Not skinny enough.” They tell you to develop a thick skin so things don´t get to you. What they don´t tell you is that your thick skin will keep everything from getting out, too. Love, intimacy, vulnerability.

I don´t want that. Thick skin doesn´t work anymore. I want to be transparent and translucent. For that to work, I won´t own other people´s shortcomings and criticisms. I won´t put what you about me on my load.

Viola Davis

III.

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 our own. No one belongs here more than you.