Thoughts on wholeheartedness

I love reading and learning more about happiness.  What is it exactly? How do you cultivate it? I find that I feel best when I am being authentic (like Gretchen Rubin’s personal commandment to “Be Gretchen.”).

Brene Brown writes and speaks about the connection between authenticity, vulnerability, and wholeheartedness.  When I heard her speak last year here in Houston, I remember her saying that being true to ourselves, which we mostly are uncomfortable with because it involves being vulnerable with others, is what leads to happiness.  In The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brene says that wholeheartedness is “the capacity to engage in our lives with authenticity, cultivate courage and compassion, and embrace — not in that self-help-book, motivational-seminar way, but really, deeply, profoundly embrace — the imperfections of who we really are.”

Reading this post by Katrina Kennison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir started me thinking more about wholeheartedness.

“Hope.  Wholeheartedness.  Ordinariness.  How beautifully these three qualities intertwine in our best, most essential expressions of our humanity.  To live is to hope.  To live wholeheartedly is to trust that there is always more to come, to believe in the rightness of things as they are.” ~ Katrina Kennison

Being wholehearted is a “way of inhabiting my life,” not something that I need to “do.”  It means realizing that “life is already good, faith that I already have what I need, that I’m enough as I am, that things are just fine as they are, and that no matter what the circumstance and even when I don’t have a clue what to do, the loving thing is always my best bet.”


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