We can all sit back and reflect on decisions that we’re not so proud of. I know for myself I can be going about my day, and then BOOM! A thought or memory will come to mind, and take over for a short while. I’ll begin to think, “How could I have been that dumb?“ “Why did I allow that for so long?” Life would be so different if I hadn’t done that. The shame of what we put our mind, body and soul through can take a huge toll on us and keep us from moving forward.
I shared a bit in my introduction video, but when I reflect on some of my decisions, if I thought long enough many emotions would rise. Sadness, guilt, shame, exhaustion, frustration, even today! And honestly those feelings have kept me from allowing myself to be vulnerable, and have kept me from letting new people in.
When I received the news of my pregnancy, my heart dropped into my stomach. It was a different kind of shame. It was a shame I couldn’t hide for long. See other things were easy, because I could be alone with my shame. Just me, in my house, no one there to see my inward parts. The battle on the inside. But with pregnancy my shame would be notIced. What are people saying about me? Can they see my heart’s repentance? Can they see that I’m remorseful. It was NEVER my intent to hide my pregnancy, but being of a contrite heart, I didn’t want to flaunt it either. I had transgressed against my Father (Jesus), my Savior. The one who I love and serve. I didn’t want to attend church anymore, I was so conflicted. But I knew I couldn‘t fold. My family was not going to let me, and I still had to function.
Shame is much different then guilt. When we listen to shame we are putting the focus on ourselves. It tells you that you are unworthy and flawed. Guilt is acknowledging that you did something wrong. Shame will hover over you if you let it. It will create envy, anxiety, depressed, anger, sadness and will ultimately deplete you from having an “after”.
There is always an after no matter what! If I listened to my shame I wouldn’t be who I am today. There would be no way I could step out and be vulnerable.
You are forgiven, you are bold and free from shame!!
Take a look at this inspiring Ted Talk by Dr. Brene Brown, entitled “Listening to shame”.
Casandra Brené Brown PhD LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.
I love you all! 💜