I had a brain error today. I almost did it again. I was obsessed with CNN and anticipating one more woman showing up to accuse Trump. This one was going to have invincible evidence!
My brain was slipping into old thoughts without my even realizing it. “I am a victim. I am powerless. No one will stand up for me. No one will believe me.” And besides, I did my own damage in my later years by choosing to seek love and attention from men when all they knew was sex. I was too young to “get it” and there were enough older men willing to use my ignorance for their pleasure.
Seeing survivors bravely rising – forced to face a wave of misogyny and a predator using shame to keep them in hiding. I am so proud of their courage. And to Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, broadcasters and pundits of the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian persuasion come to our side and stand with us. To educate.
Because we forget there is no way we can be re-traumatized by the words of such a man and others who in ignorance, just don’t understand the issue.
This past month we have been in Brené Brown’s words, rumbling with shame. Via podcast, blog, one on one coaching and webinar. In the hallway, the bedroom, the office and the kitchen. In the depths of my own brain and soul. If you have come along for the ride, we are stronger after each rumble. Neurons fire together to support us to a newly learned response. You can be stronger too.
Which brings me to the other side of shame most of the time.
Shame is a feeling we may have to entertain throughout life. I identify and name the physical manifestations in my body that I call “shame”. A pounding in the head, heart racing, a throat that tightens and a shortness of breath. There is the warm flush and a sense of doom. That’s what happens to me when I notice shame. What happens to you?
Did you know, naming shame takes away its power? Did you know the rumble is for practicing? The rumble is for learning
Shame is dark and toxic. It makes us feel bad and convinces us we do not have choices. It puts us “in our place.”
Transforming shame makes us feel proud and confident. We realize we do have choices. We decide that we want to live from our deep, lively place. Our place is defined by us. Not our perpetrator, our partners, our parents, our church. We choose who influences us, and we intentionally define ourselves. We learn to trust ourselves.
I will be hosting a FREE live webinar - Healing from Shame on Tuesday, September 27 at 5pm Pacific and repeated on Wednesday, September 28 at 10am Pacific.