Shame is something I feel and think about a great deal and it’s interesting to me how people grapple to define it. For example, the first definition of “shame” I found online this morning …
… didn’t seem to align with the way I think about shame, which may or may not be preceded by “wrong or foolish behavior.” However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that “consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior” doesn’t necessarily mean that the person feeling shame actually did something “wrong” or “foolish” — they might just think or feel that they had. And, one might argue that any behavior could be seen as wrong or foolish, if one is feeling shame.
A definition I like about shame is “guilt is feeling you’ve done something wrong; shame is feeling there is something wrong with you.”
During my week in NYC at a group therapy conference, I wrote notes on my phone, and here are some notes I wrote about shame:
I have no shame about inviting people to let go of shame in my work as a psychotherapist, even if other people believe that shame can help us grow and develop.
Here is another definition of shame I found online …
… and here are some quotes about shame:
I have no shame about agreeing with Brene Brown, who writes and speaks about shame.
Is there any shame in the images I have to share with you this morning?
What are your thoughts and feelings about shame?
Thanks to all who help me let go of shame every day, including YOU!