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Big Bend Community College William C. Bonaudi Library

#BigBendCCBookChallenge Read 12 in 12: Sarah Bauer shares I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough"

by Rhonda Kitchens on 2020-08-02T08:06:42-07:00 in Literature | Comments

Book Talk:  Sara Bauer, Chemistry Instructor
Title:  I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough".
Author:  Brené Brown


Book Cover of Brene Brown's I Thought it was Me...



I should probably be embarrassed at how many Brené Brown books I own, but thanks largely to her work, I am not… or at least I am learning not to be.  If you repeatedly asked me which of the five of her works on my bookshelf was my favorite, I would tell you a different one every time I am sure; I can never decide and I think my answer changes by the day of the week.  But if you instead asked me which ONE you should read if you were only willing to read one, I think it would be this one. Though perhaps you should ask me tomorrow too just to be sure.

Dr. Brown is a research professor who has spent two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy.  If you are human, which I suspect you are, you relate to these concepts whether you want to our not.  According to her research: we all experience shame, we all hate feeling vulnerable but actually think it’s very courageous to be so, and we all appreciate and long for empathy.

This book sheds light not only on these universal truths of human existence in a way that leaves you feeling your own surprised “me too” moments, but it outlines why you may feel the way you do, how normal that is, and what you can do about it.  As someone who has been accused of lacking empathy on occasion (because I do sometimes struggle to empathize) but who is committed to growing in that critical area of human connection, I especially appreciated the researcher’s perspective on what empathy is, what can get in the way of it, and how to cultivate it.  The following quote was one of the many that I highlighted during my reading for further reflection: “We can only respond compassionately to someone telling her story if we have embraced our own story—shame and all.  Compassion is not a virtue – it is a commitment.”  

Due to my own personal beliefs, I think that recognizing and responding well others’ shame and gently holding space for others’ stories is one of the most important things we can ever do, which means, I am realizing thanks to such authors, that I must do the work of learning to embrace my own, shame and all.  I would wish everyone read this book. ​

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