I’ve been pondering how much we shame ourselves lately. Frankly, it’s pissing me off.
Shame is appropriate if we do something to purposefully hurt someone. The problem is, too many of us our shame ourselves willy-nilly. I was in a group earlier this week and some of the members expressed shame because they did not accomplish their goals. Why? They didn’t hurt anybody. None of the other members were damaged because they didn’t accomplish the tasks. I can understand disappointment; they didn’t keep their word to themselves. That is disappointing, but shameful? No.
We have taken the usefulness of shame and splattered it across our lives. Instead of using shame to prevent us from taking dishonorable action, we have elevated shame to everyday use. We essentially are saying to ourselves “Because I did not do (insert whatever here) I am a dishonorable person.” To put it simply, this keeps us small and stuck.
I’ve seen in my life, and the lives of my clients, how much more can be accomplished when we have compassion for ourselves. It is time to take the sledgehammer of shame out of daily use and put it back in its rightful place.