Thursday, March 19, 2015

Shame On You

We live in a culture where shame is commonplace. Where it is acceptable to shame and be shamed, privately and publicly.
Despite the fact that...

"...shame is important because no other affect is more disturbing to the self, none more central for the sense of identity. 
In the context of normal development, shame is the source of low self-esteem, diminished self image, poor self concept, and deficient body-image. 
Shame itself produces self-doubt and disrupts both security and confidence. It can become an impediment to the experience of belonging and to shared intimacy....
It is the experiential ground from which conscience and identity inevitably evolve. In the context of pathological development, shame is central to the emergence of alienation, loneliness, inferiority and perfectionism. 
It plays a central role in many psychological disorders as well, including depression, paranoia, addiction, and borderline conditions. 
Sexual disorders and many eating disorders are largely disorders of shame. Both physical abuse and sexual abuse also significantly involve shame...
shame has been found to be a very strong predictor of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder." ~ Gershen Kaufman, Clinical Psychologist

Life is hard enough. Now imagine trying to heal and survive with all that going on. Imagine coming to grips with internal and external scars with all that additional pain felt just about being one's self.

Shame, guilt, and embarrassment about traumatic events can be crippling literally. They can leave a person damaged almost to a point beyond repair. Collectively we have to combat this.

As people and a society, we have to not only be more accepting of ourselves, but of each other. We have to come to relish our differences, embrace what makes us unique, as well as acknowledge our similarities. We have to fight for the humanity we all share.

Scars, inside and out, should not be a source of shame, but a badge of courage. Surviving shouldn't be a source of guilt, but a call to arms. Trauma should not be a source of embarrassment, but a battle cry.

These should be the starting points to beautiful conversations. We are the roads to our own enlightenment.

Be honest. Be brave. Accept people for who they are. Accept yourself for who you are. Free yourself from shame and shaming others.

We are the Roads to our own Enlightenment Shirts

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