Shame, is a topic none of us want to talk about…. and….that is where it gets it’s power. We all have it. Some of us have dealt with it better than others, or we are completely disconnected people and we become sociopaths!
As I was reading a book called Search for Significance by Robert McGee, a friend of mine gave me the book Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown. OK! I am paying attention, this is some thing that God wants me to deal with in my life!
McGee says about shame; “too often our personality becomes glued to the failures. Our self-image becomes no more than a reflection of our past.” That, McGee says,” leads us to believing a lie; I am what I am, I cannot change.”
Brown says; ” as we work to understand shame, one of the simpler reasons that shame is so difficult to talk about is vocabulary. We often use the terms embarrassment, guilt, humiliation and shame interchangeably. It might seem overly picky to stress the importance of using the appropriate term to describe and experience or emotion; however, it is much more than semantics.” “The difference between shame and guilt is best understood as the difference between ” I am bad” and “I did some thing bad. Guilt=I did some thing bad. Shame= I am bad.”
If we live our lives based on these lies about our selves, OR if “we use shame to keep people in line, it is not only wrong, it is dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders and bullying. Researchers don’t find shame correlated with positive outcomes at all” Brown says.
Well, that is a list right there!One where I can see some of that in myself, and a list I see throughout society. Maybe you do not find yourself in that list…McGee gives one of his own. “Inferiority, Habitual Destructive Behavior, Self-Pity, Passivity, Isolation and Withdraw, Loss of Creativity, Codependent Relationships and Despising Our Appearance.” Can you see your self in that list? I have all my life and still struggle with some of those things.
Here are some steps that Brown gives to help you out of the shame attack.
- Practice courage and reach out! Yes I want to hide, but the way to fight shame and to honor who we are is by sharing our experience with someone who has earned the right to hear it- someone who loves us, not despite our vulnerabilities, but because of them.
- Talk to myself the way I would talk to some one I really love and whom I’m trying to comfort in the midst of a meltdown; Your’re okay. Your’re human- we all make mistakes. I’ve got your back. Normally during a shame attack we talk to ourselves in ways we would NEVER talk to people we love and respect.,
- Own the story! Don’t bury it and let it fester or define me. I often say this aloud; “if you own this story you get to write the ending. When we bury the story we forever stay the subject of the story. If we won the story we get to narrate the ending. As Carl Jung said, “I am not what has happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
This is good stuff! It is what I need to hear right now in my life, AND it has given me a real eye opener to what I can do to my children when I don’t agree with their behavior. My loving husband said to me; “You are not defined by your failure, you are defined by who you are….and you are not that.” I loved that. I want to believe that, I want to be that to others.
Isaiah says; “He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God and afflicted but He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities the chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Is. 53:4-6
He took our sin and shame and our defeat. I need to remember that every day and want to remind all of those in my life the same.
An amazing essential oil that can calm broken hearts and emotions with it’s chemical components is; Rose Otto. I have been spraying that profusely on myself and through my home surrounding myself with the fragrance of love and healing. Just as Jesus did for us.
What are your thoughts on shame? What are your thoughts on Rose? We want to hear from you today!<3