Here’s a thing : Shame wants you to second guess yourself. This includes questioning your memories, your emotions, your thoughts, your choices. Shame wants you to believe that your experiences and feelings about those experiences are invalid.
Shame doesn’t want you to stand in your power, your strength, your light. Again, shame wants you second guessing. Shame reminds you that while you may have accomplished X, you still have so far to go, so don’t celebrate now. Or Shame will make snide comments about how you are “too big for your britches.” Or shame will tell you if you become “too important” you will lose your family, your community.
Shame wants us small and second guessing. Because as we are playing small and second guessing ourselves the status quo can keep on keeping on (Shame and the Status Quo are like besties, dontcha know?). As we are busy questioning our thoughts or decisions or feelings, we *aren’t* doing the things we *want* to do fight off oppression and all the -isms and bigotry. Shame keeps us pretty self-absorbed truth be told. But not at all in any kind of good way. Because what we are absorbing is self-loathing and self-hate.
One of the many ways to fight Shame is to stop playing small; to stand firmly in our lineage – be that education, experience, knowledge. To stand firm in our power – knowing and acting on our sense of agency, for ourselves and others. To stop “playing nice” and “getting along to get along.”
Sometimes though we don’t know how to get there. The shame runs deep. It is a real thing. It lives in our bodies, our minds and our spirits. And it’s everywhere. There isn’t a single thing in the world we can do that doesn’t have a shame message attached to it to some degree or another.
If you want, I’m here to help.
(Did you enjoy reading this? If so, I invite you to subscribe to my weekly love letter. It comes out ever Saturday night and is filled with goodness and often some righteous rage. You can learn more and subscribe right here.)