Shame. The feeling of being lesser, guilt of not doing better. One view of difference between shame and embarrassment says that shame does not necessarily involve public humiliation while embarrassment does; that is, one can feel shame for an act known only to oneself but in order to be embarrassed one’s actions must be revealed to others. Judging yourself through the eyes of others, constantly doubting yourself are self defeating habits which form a vicious pattern over time. Feeling crippled in situations, relationships are all signs of self doubt.
At work, one often hears managers dealing with their teams, ” you’re incapable of completing the smallest project; we’ll give it to another manager to complete it.” In personal relationships, ” if you loved me, or understood me – you would not be like this.” With our children,” why can’t you perform better, get better grades, be better behaved etc. make us proud.” Shaming causes life long scars irrespective of the age we are at. It cripples people to move ahead.
I am so tired of how hard we are on ourselves. Not attractive enough, not smart enough, not cool enough, not purpose-full enough, not spiritual enough, not flexible enough, not creative enough, not rich enough, not happy enough, not healthy enough, not sexy enough, not wise enough. It’s like a collective shame-fest that begins when we are born and continues until we are dead. Billions of us walking around convinced we are not something enough. Methinks we are missing the point. Just being alive on this mad planet demands that we are enough. That we are here means we are enough. There is no value in hiding our value under a mountain of shame. We have so many gifts inside, a treasure trove of wonder just waiting to be lived. This life is a hero’s journey.
Anyone who sticks it out and gives it their best shot is heroic, in my eyes. What we call normal is so often extraordinary. Just overcoming the weight of the world, and making a genuine effort to identify and honor our true-path is profound. Without self-love, no external achievement or internal transformation means much of anything. I am finding that the greatest relief comes from accepting that I cannot do it all in one lifetime.
What if this year, we each took a vow to be an enabler? To have the patience to make someone understand what is wrong and how it could be corrected. Give yourself this year – your time, your patience – add value to other’s lives.