I don’t know a woman out there who feels like she has it all together at home.
And because I don’t either, this makes it blessedly easy for me to lean in with empathy.
You’re down because it feels like your kids fight all the time? Mine do it too!
You feel like everyone’s house is cleaner than yours? So do I!
You wish your husband would put his midnight cereal bowl in the dishwasher (and you secretly think everyone else’s marriage is stronger than yours)? Been there, girl!
A few weeks ago we talked about how shame is that quiet feeling of “not enough.” Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not creative enough, not outgoing enough. Shame researcher Brené Brown calls it the warm wash of smallness and inadequacy (love that description!), and judging by your recent response, none of us are strangers to it.
Since we’ve talked about what shame is and when we’re feeling it, the next step is learning how to move through it. The answer is simple:
Tell your story to someone who has earned the right to hear it.
“Shame cannot stand to be spoken.” Brené Brown
The moment you put a voice to it, it begins to dissipate.
Where secrecy, silence, and judgment provide the perfect environment for shame to grow, shame cannot grow in an environment of empathy.
So you need to tell your story to someone who can lean in. Someone who isn’t afraid of drawing on their past pains in order to help you through yours. You need someone who won’t laugh it off, someone who won’t shrug and say, “It’s no big deal! I do that all the time!” and then change the subject.
Because it is a big deal. It feels like a big deal to you.
One of the biggest things we can do to practice moving through shame without dwelling on it is to figure out who we can turn to with our stories.
So I’d love to hear—Who are the people you count on to hear your stories and respond with empathy?
And as a (possibly more interesting) side question, are you more likely to turn to your husband or a female friend or family member when you need to talk shame through? (I don’t think my husband is hard wired for empathy, but he’s gettin there! :)
Our next wholehearted living topic? Empathy! Stay tuned!
Linked up with On Your Heart.