“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.