I just watched (again) “Listening to Shame” on YouTube by Brené Brown, I absolutely frickin love that lady. She speaks my language. She speaks my story. These videos inspire me… I love all of her videos and have read some of her books. If you’re looking for some inspiration… do yourself a favor, look her up.
I also love the Ted Talk video by Amy Cuddy, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. That video was life changing. Really. If you have an extra few minutes… please watch it. I will talk more about it at a later date. (I just had to throw it out today… I know someone really needs this as much as I do.)
So… back to my topic. Falling apart feels fantastic?? Since when?
Since I decided that I didn’t need to be “that” person anymore. The day that I realized that it was okay to be me, to not be perfect, to share my story and to try to find my authentic self… that’s when I realized- Falling apart, feels fantastic.
I am actually growing, which sometimes looks like I am falling apart. Which sometimes looks like a mess… I am learning. I am searching. I am pushing myself. I am pushing through the fear of being judged. I am pushing through the anxiety. I am learning to quiet that judmental voice in my head that tells me that I can’t do things.
Brené, talks about shame and vulnerability. (Look at me, talking about her- like we are best friends…) Anyway, one huge point that really struck me today was “Empathy is the antidote to shame.” Wow… let that sink in for a moment.
Then she shared three things that shame needs to grow:
Let’s start talking about the hard things. Let’s also start showing empathy to those who need to talk about those hard things. You don’t need a YouTube video or a Ted Talk, to know shame, guilt and vulnerability.
How many of you reading this post, want to talk about the hard stuff?
Abuse/Neglect. Divorce. Being a single parent. Being adopted. Not breastfeeding. Being LGBTQ or an ally. Being Fired. Anxiety. Depression. Illness and pain. Education and Degrees. Being and Addict. Widow/Widower. Having a criminal record. Losing a parent. Feeling afraid. Mental Illness. Menopause. Body Image.
I have a beautiful friend that I am not real close too, but when we do chat, we always touch on one of those uncomfortable topics. Always. We don’t ever have much time, but we always seem to get right to the nitty-gritty and speak about the good stuff. Why is it that some people feel safer than other people to share these things with? I believe it all comes back to Empathy. I don’t know how it feels to be all of those things on the above list, but I do know a few. I also don’t know how you feel, with being- or about those things.
Then why, do people always want to share with me about those things?
Because I care. Because I am empathetic. I understand shame. I understand guilt and I know what it feels like to feel vulnerable and alone. If I can listen without judgment, there is hope. When I listen and don’t try to fix you, there is hope. When I can just allow you to speak. There is hope.
In recovery, we are taught how to share our experience, strength and hope (ESH) so that other addicts can relate. When I am practicing empathy, I am not sharing my story. It isn’t about me.
I remember vividly how it felt to become a widow. When people said things like, “At least he isn’t suffering any more… or “At least he wasn’t alone… ” I wanted to punch them in the throat. Really.
That stuff doesn’t make a person feel better and it should be left unsaid. Just like me, punching you in the throat, wouldn’t make me feel better either… it would just make us even. We would both feel like shit.
Here is a wonderful video that is about Empathy… I hope you enjoy it.
P.S… Please tell me that you laughed about the sandwich?
Be kind to one another peeps… it matters. I had a friend post today about her handicapped daughter getting bullied at a sporting event. (By an adult!) It infuriated me… it made me sad and mad. Love is the only thing that will take that away…
Until Next time… Peace and Love!