Vulnerable to Shame
We judge people in areas we are vulnerable to shame. ~Brene Brown
Wow. Just wow. When we really get to break this quote down it can be applied in so many ways to our personal lives. It can also allow for such personal growth if we can hold space and allow it to seep in little by little. Here are some examples I have lived and experienced with the knowledge of this quote.
I find myself getting irritated with my children in their lack of academic preparedness or athletic response in a game (granted sometimes this is just a teenager!). However, I can feel myself stop, breathe, and say OHHHH there is my own shame. I have always felt that I had to excel at everything. Breathe, let it go, this is their journey of life, not yours, and success comes through the process not the accomplishment of the activity.
I find myself looking at another person that is “further” in life than me and feeling like I will never attain what they’ve accomplished. Oh hold up!!! That’s right!!! I am vulnerable to not being enough and feeling shame. Then I can breathe, stop myself and say “OHHHH that’s shame”! We are all on our own journey in life, it’s not a competition and life NEVER gets tied up with a perfect red bow.
I find myself constantly thinking to myself, am I doing enough in parenting, in work, in loving my partner? OHHH wait hold up! I can stop and breathe and say no need to judge yourself (because the shame would be too much if I wasn’t enough in one of these areas). I am enough as I am. And I don’t need to prove myself in any other way, I just need to love those around me and show up as I am.
I wonder if we try to implement this awareness skill, how many areas we would recognize quickly that we are vulnerable to shame?
If we open to our hearts and can be honest with ourselves, we might even be able to have some deep, soul shaking, “aha” moments in this continual journey of life and self-betterment.
Amber Bradshaw Wooten is a practicing blended family life coach and has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.