Brené Brown describes shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”
So why do we spend so much time feeling shame when it feels so bad?
Because self-forgiveness is really, really hard.
Sometime during the first lockdown circa May 2020, I found myself spending a great deal of time in my head. I clearly remember walking in the park near my home when I actually heard the thoughts rumbling around my head and how harsh and judgmental they were. You see these thoughts and feelings and had been on repeat in the background of my brain for decades and it was only the mental silence brought on by the pandemic that allowed me to truly hear them.
I did not like what I heard.
What did I do about it?
- Listened intently and did not interrupt
- Reflected and connected
By genuinely listening to my own thoughts I was able to start making sense of them. Through reflection, I began to find the connections between events and thoughts or feelings they triggered. I did this repeatedly, for months and at some point, self-forgiveness felt like the most natural thing in the world to do.
This is the ultimate gift to give yourself this season.