“Fasting and Feasting 3”

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“Fasting from shame and feasting on goodness”

At four I was a confident little girl, happy to show off my birthday umbrella and pose in my party dress. I was surrounded by my friends in the neighborhood and played freely across several back yards.

Shame sets in for all of us, I think, for various reasons at various times. Shame tells us that there is something fundamentally wrong about who we are. Shame also encourages us to send our shame out to shame others. We subconsciously want them to feel as bad about themselves as we feel about ourselves. So we reinforce each other’s shame about body size, income, gender, physical characteristics, intelligence, decisions, partners, children, houses and jobs. Most of us have a little insecurity about at least one of these things, and shame is ready to cling onto it and whisper that we really are not all right.

Shame thrives in the dark as we compare ourselves(always unfavorably)to others. The good news is that it evaporates in the light. Twelve step groups know that sharing secrets kills shame. So do simple actions such as saying “This is hard for me. Can you help?””I struggle with my kids.” “My real life is nothing like Facebook.”

May we come out from the shadows of shame and let our goodness shine. I was able to do that at four, after all.

13 thoughts on ““Fasting and Feasting 3”

  1. What a darling photo! That is so great for you to have–what a cheery example of goodness and healthy pride.

    I have a photo of me naked at age 1 or so, with ballet slippers and a little umbrella, standing by a little plastic pool in the yard–also cute as could be.

      1. I do not put naked photos of me as an infant even in an email to a friend, since these days there could be crazy allegations of it being considered inappropriate, which I did not spell out here since I do not want search engines to find alarmist terms on your website. It is too bad that sometimes people do not look at innocent things with the eyes of innocence.

  2. Children are born confident and shameless. And yet adults put the shame on them. As you mentioned, we need to encourage the young ones to be more confident and eliminate shame that has a negative connotation. I will feast on the goodness of your post and your beautiful proud photo holding an umbrella.

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