From Shame To Accountability

From Shame To Accountability

“I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.

I don’t believe shame is helpful or productive. In fact, I think shame is much more likely to be the source of destructive, hurtful behavior than the solution or cure. I think the fear of disconnection can make us dangerous.”

From Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

As someone who has grappled with the shame of being none other than who I am (which is not who anyone thought or wanted me to be) throughout my life, I am no stranger to the dangerous role shame plays in severing our connectivity, our sense of belonging, to others, to the world and to ourselves. A lack of a sense of belonging can be the turning point to open desperate people to do horrible things: commit suicide, join a cult mentality, abuse others…

After last week’s events, I felt speechless and like there was no other recourse left to deal with people who supported this in any other way than some old school shaming. Though I knew deep inside myself that this was unproductive.

This episode of Brené Brown’s Podcast, Unlocking Us, addresses just that. It offers insight into why we feel this way, why it isn’t productive and in fact is harmful, and what we can do instead: hold people accountable. This gave me heart and also helped me understand what is happening a broader sense and how I can manage it in my life in a way that feels tangible.

Three more days until the change of guard. It won’t fix everything, but it will change our perspective. And as we know from contemplative practices, a change in perspective is everything when it comes to our experience.