The heartfelt exploration of the transformative potential of empathy in overcoming shame.
The Courage and Curiosity in Shame
Walk and talk with John Enslow
Well, hey there, I am continuing to work on the book on overcoming shame and I am absolutely fascinated with the process. It is both difficult and rewarding. I am having shameful situations come at me while I’m trying to bring this out and to develop the message. And it’s amazing how I get hit with shame right when I’m trying to bring shame forward and deal with shame.
You know there’s such a tremendous amount of courage to go into another person’s shame with curiosity and compassion. So you may say, “Well, why is it courageous?” Because for you to enter the heart so that you can have empathy for another, you have to face your own pain. And that’s courageous! That’s tremendously courageous when you have to go in with curiosity. I believe curiosity and compassion for someone’s shame is so key because you’re not being accused, you’re not being further shamed, you’re having somebody that’s coming in empathetically and with curiosity and trying to understand, trying to have compassion for you. Trying to sit with you in your moment, trying to deal with the shame that you’re dealing with. But when you do this, you have to look down the barrel of your own pain in your life. You have to look at where life has hurt you and your life has shamed you in order to connect with someone in shame.
Shame is a separating, isolating, dirty little secret we hold, and when we are in shame, we’re condemned. We’re self condemned, we often have self hatred and self punishment. To enter in with someone and say, “I want to see you in your shame, I want to see you out of your shame. I want to see you through your shame, I wanna see you coming out and to get that free from your shame.” It’s a huge process. But in order to do that you have to connect with your heart and in order to connect with your heart, you have to connect with your own pains of life and painful situations and shame. To deal with shame you have to look in the heart. To deal with shame… you don’t you’re just not gonna mentally throw this aside. You have to deal with the heart condition, if you deal with the emotions of it, you have to deal with the pain of it.
So when you’re helping someone in their difficult situation, to empathize you have to say, “I understand, I’ve been there. I have experience pain in this area, similar to you.” It’s a beautiful process. It’s a supportive process and it’s a connected process and it’s beautiful. It’s absolutely beautiful. When somebody can come alongside of you in your shame and say, “I resonate with this, because I’ve been there. I haven’t been in your particular situation, but I have experienced my own shame in the same area. And in order to do that you’re really having to own it, look at it, and most shame you’re want to push it aside, but you’re having to do this in order to enter into empathy. You have to enter into your shame. You have to not take on the shame any further, but you have to face it. You have to face the fact that you have been shamed in your life.
I’ve said in the book that it is the human condition, that we came out of the Garden in shame, and we have carried shame ever since. And that’s just the way it is but we don’t have to live there. We don’t we can come out of shame, we can come out of our bondage, or despair, our self condemnation, and we can live in freedom apart from shame. We can see the things that have shamed us and see them not as a condemnation and not as a death sentence, but we can look at it as a situation that happened the process that brought growth, that brought life experience, that brought ultimately the opportunity to be healed.
As I’m working with people and dealing with shames and dealing with different things that we struggle with, the things that we wrestle with and things that we feel are holding us back. I’m having to face my own and then doing this book I’m having to face my own shames. So this is this is gonna be a wonderful process, but I would love your prayers in it because it is a lot of work, and it is not been an enjoyable process. It’s dealing with some pretty deep things.
I have shames in my life that have plagued me and that I’ve overcome and that I’m overcoming and I’m seeing further areas of shame that I didn’t even know where there. And I’m able to deal with those but in order to enter into this and look at this, I’m having to look at the subject, but I’m also having to look at my own heart, and in order to bring it out I’m having to face some pretty gruesome things. I love it and I hate it at the same time.
But I applaud anyone who is willing to be courageous and step up in empathy to stand with their brothers and sisters, in their shame, rather than sympathetic, Ooo gosh that’s so horrible for you. Oh, isn’t that that bad for you!” No, sit with them sit with them and bring the healing and bring the connection. In shame there’s isolation and it’s amazing to have the wholeness to come through when someone will sit with you in your moment. I thank you for listening and I’ll talk to you soon.
The Courage and Curiosity in Shame – Episode #868 – Divine Designed Life Podcast
Delve into the profound journey of confronting shame with curiosity, courage, and compassion it takes to embrace empathy and connection.