Brene Brown, in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, defines shame as “ the intensely painful feeling of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” We hold onto areas of our personality or stories from our past, which we are afraid for others to discover. Shame keeps us from owning our story. We fear the rejection that we believe will inevitably come from sharing our story.
Brene offers three truths through her research about shame:
1) Each of us experiences shame. Shame is universal.
2) We are all afraid to talk about shame.
3) The less we talk about shame, the more control it has over our lives.
(Brown. The Gifts of Imperfection. p. 38)
Over the past few weeks, we, the contributors of Little with Great Love, have shared our thoughts and experiences with freedom. As we focus on restoration, we must examine what enslaves us or keeps us from freedom. When we discuss shame, we allow ourselves to experience a new type of freedom. We show courage when we share areas of our lives without regard for how people may react or judge us. Shame asks, “What will people think?” and can often prevent us from sharing.
In this vlog, I share some of my personal experiences with shame and how our desire to be loved can affect our willingness to share ourselves. Throughout my experience, I have learned there will always be those who choose to love us regardless of what we share with them.
My desire is that through sharing my own shameful areas, others will be inspired to do the same. Freedom from shame allows us to live freely in our identity and embrace our story.