Dear Exchange Community,
Speaking for myself, on some days it’s hard to stay optimistic and hopeful. As we begin another week together, I want to share an acronym from writer Brené Brown that is meant to help us strengthen our muscles of courage and trust. It has helped me on days when I’ve stumbled a bit (which we all will, since after all, we’re only human). I hope it helps you, also. Here is my paraphrase of her work:
B – Boundaries: We can’t be all things to all people. We need to be clear about what we are able to do and what we are not willing to do. This also includes being able to say, “I can’t fix it for that person. That is their work to do.”
R – Reliability: We all need people in our lives we can count on to be there for us. It’s good to be clear with ourselves about who those people really are. It’s also important that we are true to our word. It is better to say, “I don’t believe I’ll be able to do that,” than to promise something and not deliver.
A – Accountability: It’s good to create standards for ourselves that we try to always meet, but it’s also important to give ourselves a break when we aren’t perfect. Accountability doesn’t mean perfectionism. Sometimes it means that we get to say, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”
V – Vault: We all need those few people in our lives we can share anything with, and who will keep our private thoughts in a ‘vault’ of confidentiality. If we expect that from others, we need to also return the favor to our closest friends or family.
I – Integrity: Being a person of true integrity means sometimes having to choose what’s right over what is easy. It means living out our values even when it’s not convenient.
N – Non-judgment: We all need to find people we can go to for help, knowing that we won’t be judged by them, no matter what.
G – Generosity: A helpful rule of thumb for all of us, in any situation with friends or colleagues, is to first assume good intentions. Assume that the person didn’t wake up with the intention of hurting our feelings, or being unkind. Assume there must be a misunderstanding or extenuating circumstances. We might say “I’m sure you didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, so I wanted to check out what you really meant by what you said.”
So here’s to a week of BRAVING whatever comes our way.
As always, on behalf of the whole Exchange team, thank you for your brave work.
Nancy Rosenow, Exchange Publisher
the Streets to Find You
Translating Trauma's Harsh Legacy into Healing
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