So here’s a thing: Shame can keep us so occupied with our own stories of too much, not enough, deserving and worthiness and the long lists of shoulds that we don’t realize when we are spreading shame out to other people. In fact, often when we are judging another person, the “flaws” we see in them are actually “flaws” within ourselves that we can’t acknowledge.
Shame is smart and it’s a trickster. It wants us doing its work for it. And so, with the judging and shaming and “knowing better” we are doing just that, while shame sits back and has a cold one.
Shame also shows up in places we wouldn’t expect. Like when we give unsolicited advice. Or when we tell people to look on the bright side or find the silver lining, and totally disregard their experience and feelings. Shame can even be hiding around gratitude, because there is so much we “should” be thankful for, and maybe we simply don’t feel thankful at all.
Shame shows up when we compare. We either feed our own Shame Beasts (oh that person has it so much worse, I shouldn’t feel as bad as I do about my life and therefore my feelings aren’t important or valid) or we feed the Shame Beasts of others (you think You have it bad? Let me tell you about ME! and therefore invalidate the other person’s experiences and feelings).
Shame is the worst kind of Mean Girl. It keeps us small and keeps us wounding and re-wounding ourselves and others.
Let’s fight off this beast. For ourselves, and those we love.
(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.)