Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.
People often want to believe that shame is reserved for people who have survived an unspeakable trauma, but this is not true.
Shame is something we all experience and while it feels as if shame hides in our darkest corners, it actually tends to lurk in all of the familiar places.
I am currently reading “Daring Greatly – How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead”, by Brene Brown. Many years of research into vulnerability led to an understanding of the devastating effect of shame on people and the realisation that shame affects everyone in some way.
In hundreds of interviews with people about shame Brown discovered one answer that came up again and again, when people were asked how they practiced wholeheartedness around sensitive and personal issues such as sex and intimacy where the issue of shame seemed to be so great.
The answer was honest, loving conversations that require major vulnerability. “We have to be able to talk about how we feel, what we need and desire, and we have to be able to listen with an open heart and an open mind. There is no intimacy without vulnerability.”
I’m sure I’ll have some more comments, as I progress through this book.