Brene Brown researches how people experience and overcome shame. She states…
“Shame is the intensely painful feeing or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.”
Regardless of your age you have a story that is all your own. Often we do not stop to think about how each of us has a story that includes proud moments as well as the knowledge of shame. You are not alone. The stories we tell about our journey have the potential to make us more courageous and live authentic lives through connection with others.
“..truths about who we are..”
Telling the truth to ourselves is the first step to whole-hearted living. This can be a painful process if we have believed false messages our worthiness for love and acceptance. Being vulnerable we are safe is not a sign of weakness. Telling the truth about who we are to ourselves, trusted family and friends is the bravest thing we can do.
“..what we believe..”
What we believe is known as our core values. Often we are unaware of internal promises we have made to ourselves. Our core belief system is shaped by our family of origin, relationships and experiences. Knowing when we are in shame can make us willing to search for evidence to support or deny a self-concept rooted in shame.
“..where we came from..”
Using the metaphor of a tree: our roots represent our past. Take a moment to think about misconceptions of yourself resulting in feelings of shame. What we did not know or what others may not have told us is that everyone experiences shame but we can learn to move through it.
The strong trunk of tree could represent our personal journey toward maturity and our desire to enjoy everyday life in the present. Our future dreams could be symbolized by the branches reaching toward overcoming the faulty belief that we are hopelessly defective. By speaking through the shame of we can celebrate our imperfections and idiosyncrasies.
We all have difficulty accepting our inadequacies, imperfections and shortcomings but when we do, others respect us. Come to find out—we are not alone. We are all learning together.
Further information: http://brenebrown.com/
Beth Holloway, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has more than 12 years’ experience in the mental health field. She has recently joined the Miller Counseling Services team and specializes in counseling individuals and couples who have experienced all types of losses including abuse, domestic strife, and trauma. She enjoys leading group therapy classes in the areas of Divorce Recovery, Spiritual Enrichment, Couples and Parent/Child Relationships, Grief Processing and Depression Recovery. Beth has had the privilege of traveling all over the United States and to more than 10 foreign countries and has been enriched by learning about people from diverse cultures and ethnic groups.