being vulnerable is scary

September 11th, 2018

shame makes us small

Brene Brown is a social work researcher- author of many books concerning how we relate to each other, and I read one called The Power of Vulnerability.

What impressed me most about this book is the deep research concerning shame.  Shame is one of our most toxic emotions, and it’s different than Guilt.  Guilt is feeling bad for our behavior, and Shame is feeling bad for being alive.

I suffered most of my life from shame.  It runs so deep inside my soul that I couldn’t put a name on it until late middle age.  If I spoke about something personal, I felt shame.  It has taken so much to finally accept my deep feelings about who I am and move past the shame.

Brown has research about the connections between shame and trust, which is what caught me the most.  I honestly felt that if I shared something personal with you, you had something on me that could be used against me for evil.  Every time.

The book is worth reading because of the ubiquitous shame we feel in our culture.  I am not the only person who overcomes shame every day, and it’s one of the main reasons I write these blogs. Nobody needs shame, and the only way out of it is to expose it to others.  That’s where trust comes in, and wow, what a ride to get to the trust.

Brown’s research is longstanding because it examines generations of families who fear vulnerability.  If we can’t trust our families, where can people go?  I believe it’s one of the reasons that 12 step recovery programs have become so prolific.

What happens if we don’t identify a problem yet live with daily shame? I read the book, and it has insight that goes into difficult emotions for everyone, and solutions for everyone.  We don’t need to attend recovery programs to learn how to manage shame.


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