Thoughts from Barbara

Do you have a secret?

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Lately the issue of shame seems to come up everywhere I look.   Though my personal shame has been mostly about my body and my desires,
I hear about shame in so many ways.  Shame about a familial genetic disorder, shame about past behavior,
shame about fantasies and even dreams.
A key component to keeping shame in place.....keep the issue a secret. Think for a minute about the word shame, and the ideas or memories that come to mind for you.  Notice what you feel in your body as you allow yourself to focus on that idea or situation. If it has been a while since you spoke aloud to anyone about it, you may feel discomfort in your gut, or heaviness in your heart, or the beginnings of a tension headache.  Shame limits our lives, our wellbeing, and our personal power when we begin to believe that who we BE is bad or wrong.  Shame festers when we keep secrets buried deep inside. Imagine what it would be like to speak aloud the secret.  Chances are it might be scary, but it's also very likely that speaking the words will lead to a lot more freedom. It's important to share with a trusted and worthy person, as Brene Brown says "someone who has earned the right to hear our story".

There are many resources for support in healing shame and I am honored to know a number of these courageous and gifted people.  If child abuse has been in your history, check out the work that Susan Jacobi is doing at Conversations that Heal.  If you'd like to be more free from negative messages about sexuality, check out Pamela Madsen and the Being Shameless community.

Thanks for joining me on this journey of changing our relationship with shame. Stay tuned for more!