To Begin Again

It’s raw and delicate

to begin again

Sometimes I write poetry. It might not be great – in fact, most of it is probably terrible – but I like to play with words. And it’s okay for us to do things imperfectly, even messily (myself included).
Anyway, I share these lines from a recent poem I was working on. I was thinking about how it can feel raw and delicate to begin again. For example, after a medical event, we transition from healing up inside a safe and cozy cocoon to joining back into the real world. It happens in trauma recovery, too, when we move from the initial stages to re-joining the world in a new way. There’s relief, but also there’s reduced stamina. We might feel less strong, or even impatient to skip a few steps on the road to healing.
I think this is also true when we are recovering from a mental health episode of anxiety, depression, or grief. I think it’s true when we make a personal choice – a job, moving, choosing to end or begin a relationship.  I think it’s true when we vote and our country takes a step to begin again, each election cycle.
There is vulnerability in beginning again. Sometimes it is vulnerability to ourselves and our own hopes, sometimes it is vulnerability as we let others in to assist us in our healing.

Reading for Perspective Summer Edition

Johanna loves to share good books with her clients. Periodically, she will post here about a book that can be helpful as a part of the therapeutic process or just as good food for thought. If you’d like to join in “reading for perspective,” feel free to learn more about Johanna’s new favorite book below!


Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” shares some of her fantastic research and personal thoughts about what it means to dare greatly.  Brene Brown is a researcher and clinician who has spoken on TED talks and written books about shame and vulnerability.  In “Daring Greatly,” Brene writes about the idea of being wholehearted, which she describes as a way to use vulnerability as a catalyst for engaging in courage, compassion, and connection.  She writes about how vulnerability is NOT weakness, and how engaging in vulnerability allows us to develop genuine relationships.  She also writes about shame, and how we can build our shame resilience by recognizing it, checking in with whether it is accurate or not, and giving voice to the shame to keep from internalizing it or disengaging from those around us.  She shares the idea that daring greatly is not about success or failure, but more about having the courage to engage with the world in a vulnerable and genuine manner.

One idea that she touches on that can come up a lot in therapy is the idea that “you are enough.” Our society often teaches us that we must make a certain amount of money or achieve a certain goal in order to be happy or respected as “enough,” but Brene Brown writes that we are enough, just the way we are.


Brown, B. (2012). Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. New York, NY: Gotham Books.

NOTE: As always, if you find that you could use an outside perspective or are struggling emotionally, please call to set up an appointment at (585)406-3012. This book review is not intended to replace therapy.