Author: Brene Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.
Description: Whenever I talk about the skill set of sex, all the perfectionists come out of the woodwork. I meet a lot of them in my line of work. Perhaps there is an unusually high correlation between perfectionism and sexual hang-ups. (I haven’t heard of a study being done on the subject, but I would love to see one.) This book is now the handbook I recommend for clients struggling under the weight of perfectionism. No, it doesn’t talk specifically about sexual issues, but if you can grab onto of the concepts that Dr. Brown is teaching and implement them, the reverberations will be felt in your sex life. Guaranteed.
Favorite Chapter: “Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty” This one was deeply profound for me because it was the first time I heard an author give permission to “fly by your gut.” As you do so, the acts of slowing down and making time to listen to God move higher on the priority list than surveying all your friends and neighbours for their opinions.
Best Take-away: You can only extend the amount of compassion to others that you first give yourself. I love Dr. Brown’s quote, “Before the breakdown, I was sweeter – judgmental, resentful and angry on the inside – but sweeter on the outside. Today, I think I’m genuinely more compassionate, less judgmental and resentful, and way more serious about boundaries.” (page 16) Learning to be kind to ourselves sounds fluffy and New Age-y on the surface, but it is the first step to truly loving our spouses. Who said, “love your neighbour as yourself?” Oh right…that was Christ.