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Week 12: Linzer cookies & "The Atlas of the Heart"

I have a special guest book reviewer, @judie_boroevich

"Thank you, Stephanie, for giving me a guest spot in your 52 Weeks of Cookies & Books series.⁠

I enjoy Brené Brown’s work, and I was looking forward to Atlas of the Heart, and I wasn’t disappointed.⁠

Brown’s research found that most of us will use only one of three words to describe what we are feeling: happy, sad or mad. In Atlas of the Heart, she provides us with 87 emotions we can use to more specifically describe what we are feeling, and in doing so, provides a framework for “…a common understanding of the language of emotion and human experience”.⁠

Each of the nine chapters is themed by ‘families’ of emotions.⁠

I gained many insights from reading this book and some of the most notable for me were:⁠

· Resentment is not an emotion of anger, but rather, of envy. Brown uses the example that if we see someone relaxing while we are working, and feel resentment toward them, we aren’t mad at them for resting, but rather, we are envious that they’re resting. This was thought provoking for me, and now when resentment shows up, I can now dig in and ask, what do I need to give myself more of, where is the envy coming from?⁠

· When scared or worried, Brown asks herself, “Will this issue be a big deal in five minutes? Five hours? Five days? Five months? Five years?” When worry creeps in for me (and it does!), I have started to ask these questions and it has relieved some anxiety for me.⁠

· Self-acceptance is key to belonging. Brown writes: “Because we can feel belonging only if we have the courage to share our most authentic selves with people, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” She also included research from interviews that she conducted with eighth graders, who were asked to describe the difference between ‘belonging’ and ‘fitting in’, and as one aptly described, “If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in”.⁠

I highly recommend Atlas of the Heart."⁠

-Judie Boroevich⁠

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