Shame On You

Shame – noun

The painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame.
       I’ve never really thought much about shame until this week. I understood what shame meant, but in a distant arm’s length way. Like stealing or lying were actions to  be ashamed of, stuff like that.  This week I have come to understand shame in a new, personal way. I feel that the book The Gift of Imperfection  has been a gift. I’m learning about belonging and my quest and sabotage of love in my life.
       According to Brene Brown, shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. This definition of shame rings true. I have been experiencing deep shame for a long time. She goes on to explain that shame keeps our worthiness away because we’re afraid that people won’t like us if they know the truth about who we are or even if they realize how wonderful we are – sometimes, she adds, it’s just as hard to own our strengths as our struggles.
       I have been thinking about how, since the fifth grade, I have been comparing myself to everyone around me and measuring myself in a constant battle of okay/not okay. My lips are nice and I have soft hair, but my stomach is too flabby and skin hangs over my elbow unless it’s extended…I could go on and on. I am now seeing that this is shame. Shame and fear preventing me from ever seeing or experiencing my truth.
       I think understanding shame and learning how to break out of this shame cycle will be a huge leap for me. I feel like the light has been flipped on finally. Shame, who knew? I’m excited to keep reading and applying this gift of a book in my life.
       Also, I have not crumpled under the pressure of my online profile. I’ve even made contact with someone, which is still scary and I’m trying not to retreat back into my shell. I actually think I will be reactivating another profile soon. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe today.
       I watched an awesome speech by Bill Cosby this morning, that was funny and touching about being authentic and not falling into the shame that is beneath you. It’s a bit long, but worth watching if you have time. You can link to the video here.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 16:05:00

    Ms. Lovely Mary! I’m so glad to learn you are releasing shame. It’s the heaviest and hardest and lowest of all emotions, and feels so freeing to finally let it go. You deserve that freedom, my beautiful friend. I’m proud of you for your online efforts … and for this full-hearted journey you are on. Blessings and love,


  2. Mary
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 23:03:22

    It’s funny because I have never associated any of my experience in terms of shame, so this is new territory for me.
    Thanks again for all your support!


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