Shamed by a Stranger
Last night I felt deep shame arise inside of me. Some of my neighbors have just had a little one and I signed up to bring them dinner. Since I had been traveling all day, I decided that I would pick up dinner from their favorite restaurant in town and drop it off. My three year old had been in the car for over five hours when we arrived to the restaurant and was quite restless. As we stood in line looking at the menu, she knocked over a chair and ran around acting like a classic three year old. A patron at the restaurant was very irked by her behavior (Let me just take a minute to say that this is a very casual restaurant where you order at the counter then take your seat) and came over scolding me in a loud voice in front of a large group of people. As she ranted and raved about how I am a horrible mother, my child is ill behaved, we should not be in public, and her mother would never have allowed her to act in this way, I felt deep shame rising inside of me. She had triggered perhaps one of my deepest fears. She recognized what I fear most....That I am a horrible mother. For the rest of the night I cried as I felt deep shame that I could not shake.
As a therapist I absolutely know that this incident is about her and not me, that something was triggered inside of her that caused this reaction, and not to take anything personally...... AND despite all of this knowledge, the tears would not stop flowing.
I absolutely love this clip regarding Shame and the concept that.... "Shame cannot survive when it's spoken." -Brene Brown
Today I encourage all of us to share our shame and to begin to release our stories around shame.
When I awoke today I received my note from the Universe. As always I seem to recieve the exact messages that I need in that moment.
When you can look beneath their behavior that hurt you, Kara, and you can see the frightened child, it becomes nearly impossible to be angry or carry a grudge. Besides, Kara, your happiness, abundance, health, and friendships are not dependent on how others behave,
I am grateful for this message and while I know this all to be true, last night was a teaching that I still have a lot of work to do around shame.