Monday, 1 June 2009

Shame and empathy

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I have been thinking about my musing, live life as an exclamation not an explanation, Performing for an audience of one, Relentlessly pursue who I am created to be. As a think about them there is a real sense of wanting to be more than I am at the moment.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that but they got me thinking, what is it that stops me? Why am I musing on such similar themes? Am I actually changing or is it just light sunlight on a dandelion, I’m showing up the structures and its frail but beautiful in its simplicity?

So what is it that stops me, and the honest answer is I get so far then get overwhelmed by a sense of not being good enough. A sense that somewhere I am deeply flawed, in other words shame kicks in.

I have been thinking about shame resilience and how I can begin to protect myself from shame and I realise a simple truth. As I talk to others and give them the opportunity to show me that not only do they understand how I feel but that it’s OK to have these dark scary thoughts and feel this overwhelming gut wrenching fear, shame is beginning to loose its power over me.

I don't think I’m brave enough to share the specific incident which highlighted it all to me this week but what I do know is that giving other people the opportunity to show me empathy begins to heal my soul. I also actively noticed this week as I shared empathy with others, the impact it has on them and how healing it is,

So here’s to empathy. Really trying to come alongside someone and hear the situation from their point of view. The amazing thing with empathy is feeling heard and understood means that a solution to the problem doesn't have to be found. Empathy itself is the solution.

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