Tag Archives: Shame

Should I Score YOUR story?

I make it a daily habit to go onto Facebook and examine the lives and experiences of the people in my community.  Although it’s part of my job as a social media specialist for Indrani’s Light Foundation to dive into social media about life events, on occasion, I have been guilty of “comparing” my story to other life stories.  I find stories in my community that make my story seem like a cakewalk…. meaning that I feel guilty for believing I have suffered in my life.

I begin to give my story a score, from 1 to 10.

score image

Let me give you an example ….

I suffer from PTSD syndrome due to a few events that happened to me in the past.  I face many triggers, sometimes on a daily basis …. sometimes in my dreams that show up as nightmares.  BUT, I feel guilty about sharing my story with others.  Why?  Because I may end up talking to someone who is currently fighting for their lives after being diagnosed with stage IV cancer, or someone who was brutally gang raped as a young woman, or a man who was locked in a coffin as a child to face his discipline, and was sexually abused by his orphan caretakers on a daily basis.  My story seems to pale in comparison to theirs.

“Based on these friends’ stories …. I give my own story a 3.”

Where did I learn that we, as humans need to measure our feelings? If our lives are not measured, then it doesn’t exist, right?

Here is where I get vulnerable.

Now, I also find myself, on occasion, judging others about their stories by comparing them to my own story.  Yes, I’m human.  Yes, I feel guilty about this, too.  When I read someone’s Facebook post that complains about their job, and how they don’t feel appreciated for their work.  My mind begins to wander with thoughts such as:

“Oh that’s a bummer {sarcastically}  Well, try losing your dream job because your newly promoted sexist, homophobic supervisor is on a mission to fire you from your 20 year career just because you are a gay woman, and causes you to file a federal law suit that will last for 4 ½ years …. and will eventually be settled out of court, and meanwhile you will never be able to return to your dream career because you have been “blacklisted” by other agencies.”

“Based on this friend’s “job” story … I give my story a 10.”

Have YOU been secretly scoring other people’s stories?  Are you brave enough to admit it?  Notice I am NOT scoring the other person’s story…. Just my own.  Should I give theirs a score?  Should I score YOUR story?

The answer to this question is a resounding, “NO!”

Comparing my life to others has been a daily journey, and I work at staying empathetic to everyone’s feelings and experiences.  Most of the time I battle with feelings around why I shouldn’t complain, or feel badly about ANYTHING in my life.

“There are children starving all over the world.”

“A parent just lost his child in a car accident.”

“Women are being raped and beaten every day.”

My story, and your story, should never be compared to any other story. Your stories, and the effect they have on your life should only be scored in relation to how they make YOU feel, not anyone else. If what you are experiencing right now is, for you, a 10 on the painful story scale, then that is true for you, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

I have learned a great deal from Indrani Goradia and Dr. Brené Brown about being vulnerable and speaking my truth.  I practice empathy on a daily basis, and I have compassion for peoples’ stories, at any level.  I have even arrived at, what Brené Brown calls, “excruciating vulnerability,” and have begun the process of “deconstructing shame.”  (Listen to Brené’s TED talk here).

I invite you to pursue this simple “Call to Action” right now.  Go to our website, and listen to the “Live-A-Brighter-Life” podcasts.  You can also find them on iTunes.  Within our teachings, we will give you the tools to help you reach out, speak your truth, and find shame resilience.  YOU are worthy.  YOU are loved.  YOU matter.

 

With love & light,

Amy Dier
Director of Education & Training | Indrani’s Light Foundation

 

Brighter Life Bit #24: The Wash of Shame

ILF_Wtagline_Logo rgbYou can listen to the original teaching at the 1 hour 15 minute mark of the Class 3 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here  or from the ILF website here. 

The “Wash of Shame” comes from the work of Brené Brown. Here is how it works.

Exercise

Let’s “Go to the movies” like we did in module 1.

Think of a “medium intensity” event that happened in your childhood, as a young adult, or maybe something that happened yesterday.  Put yourself there again.  Watch it like you’re at the movies. What was the weather like? What were you wearing? What did you smell? Were you inside or outside? Who was there?

Answer these questions:

  • “I physically feel shame in my …..” (name a part of your body).
  • “I know I’m ashamed when I feel …..”
  • “If I could taste shame, it would taste like ….”
  • “If I could smell shame, it would smell like ….”
  • “If I could touch shame, it would feel like ….”
  • Look at your responses…. This is YOUR “Wash of Shame.”  

The first step is to acknowledge your shame. Share your experience with how these exercises worked for you in the comments of this post.

Brighter Life Bits #23: What are your triggers?

ILF_Wtagline_Logo rgbYou can listen to the original teaching at the 55 minute mark of the Class 3 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here  or from the ILF website here.

What are your triggers?  What circumstances bring you straight to shame?

Grab your journal or open a word document on your computer and write the following statement to yourself:

“I want to be perceived as ……”

Now write the following statement:

“What I DON’T want to be perceived as …..”

Examples of shame :

Body type, skin color, sexual orientation, class, religion

This exercise is a gentle way to recognize the power that these triggers have over you, and to understand that power.  It’s a process and needs practice.

Share your experience with how these exercises worked for you in the comments of this post.

Brighter Life Bit #21: Moving from shame to humiliation or embarrassment

ILF_Wtagline_LogoYou can listen to the original teaching at the 25 minute mark of the Class 3 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

In some situations you may not be able to replace your feelings of shame with guilt. In these moments, guilt may not be the appropriate emotion, but what about humiliation and embarrassment?

Humiliation is a feeling that stems from an experience that causes you to lose your prestige, standing, or self-respect. Humiliation says “I didn’t deserve this.”

Embarrassment is a feeling that stems from an experience that causes you to lose your composure, usually due to bad judgement or vulnerability. It is a more fleeting sense of discomfort. Embarrassment says “one day this will be funny.”

Shame says “I am bad
Guilt says “I have done something bad
Humiliation says “I didn’t deserve this
Embarrassment says “one day this will be funny

Using these four definitions:

  1. Think of a time when you have experienced shame.
  2. Ask yourself: Which definition (guilt, humiliation, embarrassment) do I choose to replace shame with?
  3. How are you different once you reframe the shame you felt?

You can choose to not feel shame. If, instead, you can live these definitions in life you can choose what you feel and choose a better description.

Share your experience with shifting from shame to guilt, humiliation, or embarrassment in the comments below:

Brighter Life Bit #19: Shame and expectations

ILF_Wtagline_LogoYou can listen to the original teaching at the 11 minute mark of the Class 3 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

In the last Brighter Life Bit you made a list of the different shame categories (the who, and what that cause you shame). The next question to ask is “why do these people and things cause me to feel shame?

The answer is: Expectations.

The expectations of who you are supposed to be and how you are supposed to be compared to who you want to be and how you want to be.

Look over the different people, events, and things that you wrote down as triggering your feelings of shame, and beside each write down the expectation you are supposed to meet for each of these triggers:

  • Body image – I need to look like the magazine model
  • Money – I need to make more than $X
  • Teachers- you need to get more than 70% to be successful
  • Family – you need to take care of us, not yourself

To understand your feelings of shame you need to name it, and recognize that you are experiencing shame. Speaking (or writing) these expectations into the world is a big step towards changing how shame affects your life.

You can bring your own shame triggers, and the underlying expectations into the world by sharing them with the ILF community in the comments below…

One woman’s story of survival…..

gabbe.minThis is a must read.

Thankfully, she left before he killed her. 

Thankfully, she isn’t letting Shame control her present and future.

 

Please share this article…it could truly save someone’s life.

 

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/why-didnt-you-just-leave-shame_n_5805848.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

 

Love & light,

Team ILF

LABL 003: Letting Go – Uncover Your Self-Respect

Welcome to Episode #3 of the Live A Brighter Life Podcast!

In this episode of the Live A Brighter Life Podcast Indrani and Andrea discuss letting go. Specifically you will:

  • Define “shame”
  • Differentiate between shame, guilt, humiliation and embarrassment
  • Understand the dangers, irony, and contradictions of shame
  • Acknowledge triggers
  • Identify the sources of shame
  • Practice critical awareness

Resources

I Thought It Was Just Me by Brené Brown

Podcast Recording

What stinks?

via Sourpuss-Jenny-Erickson-S.-ExchangeEver walk into a room and instantly notice that something smells?  Stale smoke, mold, mildew. A habit like smoking lingers…so even if you are not the smoker and you are breathing the smoke second hand, you can be effected.  The toxins stick.

Toxic people and situations stick to stuff.

Abuse not only affects the victim and those who may be witnesses but as a party several degrees removed, you still can sense the anger and fear. Perhaps it is a broken lamp, a noticeable bruise or wound, a torn piece of clothing, a broken window…the violence now affects you.  You may feel scared, fearful, and angry at the perpetrator. You find yourself walking on egg shells in a play that has ended but the signs are still there.  Now you have the toxins.

The toxins of verbal abuse resonate beyond the fight.  A husband and wife argue. The wife saturated with the toxins of her husband’s venom then pushes those toxins out to her children. You are at the playground or school and you see the kids now fighting using the same words they heard at home, the name calling, the demeaning talk.  Now those toxins from the original argument have affected those who are unaware of the verbal toxins of the home. Now they have affected innocent people outside of the original dumping ground.

We expose ourselves to third party toxins from events, habits, situations we never knew existed but we walk away changed and not for the good.  Some of those toxins may even trigger dormant hurts from our past like shame, fear, and helplessness.   We have to rely on our sixth sense, our intuition or our gut to remove ourselves from these poisons so that we do not suffer or get injured.

Have you ever been in a room where you could feel the tension and you know something just happened?  Have you felt the shame as someone calls another worthless, and you take on that shame as if it was your own?

We need to listen to our intuition to save us from the ugly toxins that surround us.  Do you have the courage to walk away in these situations?

Can I stand back up? Yes.

WomanImageStand back up from what, you may ask?

I was recently assaulted and although it was “unintentional”, intentional or unintentional, the psychological injury is the same.

As I wallow in shame, doubt, distrust and unworthiness…I look for the lessons I can take from the experience to put into good use.

I have learned to stand up for my boundaries and to find strength in knowing I am worthy. I can use this knowledge to help others who may not have found their strength to stand for their boundaries or appreciate their own worthiness.

We are all worthy of love and respect, no matter what.

I can say that….
if you are battling abuse, regardless of the form
if you are battling rejection
if you are battling shame, doubt, and distrust
if you are wondering if you can ever stand back up again

 

The answer is yes.

It sometimes just takes a little time…

 

~Guest blogger- who would like to remain anonymous