"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: The Gifts of Imperfection

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Gifts of Imperfection

A reader suggests we post a link to the Facebook page for this Amy Ahonen, who has gone missing in Colorado. Please use your personal networks to get the word out. Sometimes clues come from unexpected places. I dearly hope Amy comes home safe and soon.

On another topic, I am reading a book recommended by a friend, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. It is rare that I read "self-help" books, and rarer still that I recommend them, but this one is resonating with me and may be of value to other former Laestadians.

If you feel inclined, read it and let's talk about it here.

You can also watch the author in her TedX speech, in which she talks about "The Power of Vulnerability." It's about 20 minutes long, so grab a cup of coffee.

Brown's research (as a professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work) shows that people who have a strong sense of belonging and happiness are those who feel WORTHY of belonging and happiness.

Did you feel worthy in the church? Do you now? What is the difference?

How compassionate are you to yourself?

I am frequently told by my (very happy!) husband that I am "too hard" on myself. It is not possible for him to understand how much humility, shame, and NON-vulnerability (absolute faith) were encouraged in my upbringing. Those are very hard habits to break.

Try taking this online survey of "self-compassion" suggested by Brown. I did, and found myself annoyed by the questions. Clearly I have issues with these topics. I wish I had scored higher, if only for my kids' sakes, as I KNOW compassion is "caught not taught" and they are undoubtedly getting some very mixed messages.

But I will continue to work on self-compassion, even when my "inner Laestadius" rebukes me for it.

Let me know your thoughts.


  1. Hi Free--I hope they find that Amy gal healthy and safe. Just makes me sick! I didn't do so hot on that self compassion thing, but don't want to mull it over too much, just remind myself to be nicer (to myself). What a job it is for people raised in the Apostolic faith to start to value themselves. The teaching is that you don't have value. It's a hard lesson to overcome. Hope all is well with you--take care friend. I have gotten myself all involved in the political upheavel in the country, but will show up here more often.lllreader

  2. LLLreader again: Missed seeing the "inner Laestadius" term. Oh man, I can use that in lots of ways---you have a way with words Free

  3. LLLReader, thanks for commenting. Would love to hear more about your activities if you want to drop me a line. I still have that book you sent me, and think of you each time I move it from one pile on my desk to another. This may be the summer I read it!