Brene Brown strikes again. She is becoming one of my favorite people on the planet to listen to. It awakens me to the idea that vulnerable people are refreshing. If she can be vulnerable to an audience of 4 million, surely I can be to my small sphere.
In this TED talk, she speaks honestly about shame. I have attached the link to the video below.
Brene mentions shame as an epidemic in our culture. In order to be free from it, we need to understand how it is effecting how we look at one another.
Here are the three things she mentions for shame to grow:
- Secrecy: I can’t let anyone know about this
- Silence: I will not speak of this
- Judgment: what would people think!
Women, every day, are facing an identity crisis of who we are meant to be. Somehow we’ve bought into the following ideas THIS is who we are meant to be:
- sexy at all times; especially after giving birth. You have a month’s grace to get back into pre-body shape. Remember to look hot even while cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, and taking out the trash. And always, I mean always, wear heels while walking your kids to the school bus.
- intelligent, in everything. We should know the answers at all times to every question posed by our husband and children. If we don’t, we are inadequate.
- ready for sex at any moment. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t slept in three years; you are turned on all the time.
- Talented. In everything. If not, you should find friends who are so you can at least appear talented. Ignore the feelings of jealousy when you compare yourself with them. It’s the price you have to pay for clearly not being enough on your own.
- That brings us to friendships. They are only to enhance your social status. Ignore all those beneath you (which is anyone who does not hold a high social standing). You don’t actually have to like these people, just get lots of pics with them and put on facebook.
Dress to impress at all times. You may want to upgrade into a nicer home and drive a more impressive car, while you’re at it. Doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it, that’s what a credit card is for, right? You can’t afford not to appear impressive.
Do you see the shame written all over all of the above? I love what Brene says about shame vs guilt.
Guilt focuses on behavior: I did something bad.
Shame focuses on guilt: I AM bad.
Guilt says: “I’m sorry, I made a mistake”
Shame says: “I’m sorry, I AM a mistake”
She goes on to mention all the things associated with shame: addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders….
How many women suffer under subjection to the effects of shame? We treat these effects with clinics, counseling, and self help books, but do we ever get to the root: shame itself? Do we recognize our actions as the result of shame buried deep in our mindsets?
After her years of study, Brene Brown has discovered an antidote to shame summed up in two simple words: “Me too.”
“I’m still struggling with losing my baby weight… and my son’s 15”..
“OMG! ME TOO!”
“Secretly, I hate heels”.
“Seriously? Me too!”
“Am I the only one who doesn’t know what that word means??”
“Haha! I thought I was the only one! Me too!”
“I am way too tired for sex. Our sex life has taken a plunge with young kids”.
“Oh thank you for sharing that! I felt so alone regarding this! Me too!”
“I’ve been really struggling with popularity and striving to keep in the right group. I’ve actually experienced more rejection than ever since. Is there something wrong with me? Is it wrong for me to want quality friendships who love me for ME?”
“I’ve been struggling with that too! Wanna go for coffee?”
“I’ve been secretly struggling with an eating disorder for a year now. I didn’t know if it was actually a disorder, but I can seem to get a grip. I’m embarrassed about this.”
“I’ve been there. Let me help you.”
“I’ve built up an enormous amount of debt with the house, the car, the clothes, the toys… I just want to enjoy my life and be free from what society tells me I should spend my money on. I actually want to be more generous..”
“Me too!! Let’s be accountable with each other to get out of debt and start being the generous people we want to be!”
“I’ve been pretending for too long. Our family is in major financial trouble. We just declared bankruptcy and we don’t know where we are going to live.”
“I’m so glad you told me! We’ve been in a similar place before. We’ll walk you through this.”
Empathy and Compassion. “Me too.”
“People who don’t experience shame are those who have no capacity for empathy and compassion…. The truth is, you can never be bullet proof and as perfect as you need to be. No one wants to see that anyway.” (Brene Brown)
Rebel, ladies. Live different. Let empathy and compassion flood your soul. Live with arms open.
Brene Brown on listening to shame; http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html