*”Most of us, if not all, have built significant parts of out lives around shame to change people. Individuals, families and communities use shame as a tool to change others and to protect themselves.  In doing this, we create a society that fails to recognize how much damage shame does to our spirit and the soul of our families and communities.”
-Brene Brown
*Shame is a silent epidemic…we don’t want to talk about it…but sometimes we live a whole life with it
*When is the last time you had a meaningful conversation with someone about shame?
*Shame is universal and no one is exempt
*TED TALK….Monica Lewinsky… “The Price of Shame”
*What do you think shame is? some say a big event you regret, some say little things like avoiding someone in the grocery story and feeling bad about it when you get home, others say it is a habitual thing like trying to stop drinking and feeling bad every time you take a drink
*Brene Brown book “I Thought It Was Just Me” I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough”
*Examples of people feeling shame….41 year old goes back to school and feels inadequate, feeling judged as a mother, panic about how body has changed over the years, life looks perfect from the outside–but, the truth is…it isn’t, looking in the mirror seeing fat and ugly….just want to hide, don’t want to tell anyone what I’ve gone through, every time a grown woman goes to visit her mom she comments that she is fat and says that hopefully she can lose some weight…so she never wants to go home, infertility, there was a story of a woman whose Mom committed suicide when she was in high school…if her mom had died of cancer people would have reacted differently to her….but she was always just the girl whose mom killed herself…so she always thought if her mom had issues she must have them too
*Jeff Vanvonderen book “Tired of Trying to Measure Up” 

*Shame is more prevalent than we think
*Guest Speaker….Counselor Shelley Diefenbach

*WHAT IS SHAME? The sense that something is fundamentally wrong with me….I am broken
*Shame is a feeling and a thought process….but, just because you think it doesn’t mean it is true
*You tell yourself “I deserve this”….”of course no one wants to be with me”
*Shame makes us want to hide, escape, and disappear
*Sometimes we avoid shame by lying….(I finished College, I went to the gym this morning, I didn’t do that)
*”Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.” -Brene Brown
*Shame is most often caused by:
-what was reflected back to us as a child is how we see ourselves
-if you grew up in a family system that reflected negatively on you you may have started to feel shame
-comments like “are you going to wear that”….”you should have made that shot”….”good girls don’t do that”…..etc..
-whatever you did was not good enough
-if neglected one concludes they must not be worth someone’s time
-a young child looks to their parent as dependable and capable (even if they are not)….so, when something goes wrong they think they have something wrong with
themselves and the shame begins….”what’s wrong with me”
-shame can start as early at 15 months old
-assault….shame over what you did or didn’t do
-natural disaster…example-you saved yourself but left someone else….shame over that
-messages everywhere….a million reason’s we don’t feel good enough
*Sometimes we use shame and guilt interchangeably….but they are different…
Shame=”I am bad”
Guilt= “I did something bad”
-shame never motivates change but guilt can inspire change
*Shame=how we feel about ourselves
Self Esteem=how we value ourselves
*The less we talk about shame the more we have it
*The more you believe your shame story the less you want to talk about it
*With shame you feel defective
*When someone else puts something into words it is even better than when we do it ourselves
because then we know we aren’t the only one
*Don’t hide….Address the shame
*Shame shows up everywhere if you don’t deal with it
*Shame can wreak havoc on your body
*The posture of shame is head down and shoulders rolled forward…..if we sit up with our shoulders back we feel better.
*There is a study that shows that posture effects emotions
*Shame can effect our relationships…we become very focused on what anyone else needs us to be
*You can’t just numb yourself out of negative feelings…if you numb the negative you numb the positive too
*With Shame some tend to either withdrawal (not going to share myself with you) or become aggressive (compensate, become arrogant, shame others)
*These 2 types of people (those who withdrawal + those that become aggressive) tend to find each other and it can be destructive
*People dealing with their shame through aggression think the quickest way to get off of their shame is to turn towards your shame.
*They can throw the shame ball at you but you don’t have to catch it
*Can we completely rid ourselves of shame? Probably not…but we don’t have to live in it and it can become a much smaller part of our story
*The antidote to shame is empathy
*Shame feels everything and thinks nothing….so, when we extend kindness to someone in the midst of shame they can’t receive it….they can receive empathy (just being with them rather than disputing it)….then, you can go back later with kindness and have a logical conversation when the emotions die down
*One thing to apply… DARE TO SHARE….you can speak to a Therapist or a trusted friend… speak of the things that seem unspeakable