Shame is when we feel second class.. when we feel less valued than the next person.
Shame can be found in any area of our lives where we feel that we haven’t hit the mark, where we aren’t as valuable as someone else.
I never really thought that shame was such a big deal in my life until recently, shame that I am in my 30’s, still single and no children. Shame that I still live at home and have not bought or built my own home yet. Shame where I feel sometimes not as beautiful as the next person. Shame where I feel like I am not as connected or as popular as someone else (shame because of comparison).
I was pondering out of the 12 items Brene Brown identified for wholehearted living that would be key in shame and I thought the below probably are really key, not that the others aren’t.
Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
The action that we take in our self-talk, or the words that others speak that we take on board and walk with keep us stuck in the shame trap. Yes it is a trap.
Vulnerability…. it’s key once again.
I had a conversation with a dear friend recently in relation to an area that brings shame to me as I mentioned above. It was scary to be that vulnerable, to share with that friend the heartache that it feels to be less than others. The truth is that I am not less than others because I am single, because I have no children… I am not less of a woman, the reality of the day to day thinking and the environment and the words and attitudes of people around a bout sometimes say yes you are less than. Vulnerability is the answer. We can go to those we trust and share our shame areas. It’s scary. BUT it is oh so healthy.
If I who was someone who would never share any of my personal stuff with anyone, someone who was trained to be the strong one since before I was born can do this… I know you can too… Take heart, press through, hold onto courage and go for it. You are greatly loved!