Several weeks ago our Saturday night small group was having a discussion about whether or not shame was ever a good thing. I had that feeling (like I often do) of wanting to communicate that - NO shame is never good, can never be good or useful but I just couldn't find the words to get my thought out. So I kept quiet but ended up feeling frustrated by the end of the meeting. I understood what several were saying about the danger of folk's not feeling consequences for their behavior. I get that. I get wanting justice for wrong actions, I get having rules and the importance of structure. So why did I have that unsettled feeling?
Those of you who follow me might begin to get tired of me quoting Brene Brown, but I find so many things she says are so true and helpful to me. She describes herself as one who wraps words around many of our common feelings and experiences as humans. I particularly appreciate how she explains the difference between guilt and shame.
Guilt = I did something bad.
Shame= I am bad.
I think these definitions are extremely helpful as I face the daunting task of parenting my children. I can only hope that I'll avoid shaming them and I can only pray that the different teachers, coaches and authority figures in their lives will do the same!
p.s. I have enrolled in on online class which will delve into The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown! I'm excited about exploring these issues on a deeper level and will be sharing some of my insights here on Tuesdays. Fasten your seatbelts and join me!