Shame it’s a word that I have heard and know I’ve used. I never took much thought into the theory behind shame or consider the effects that it could have. I was presented with the opportunity to read Shame On Me: Healing a Life From Shame-Based Thinking, by John Dunia and could not resist.
One because I love books and two because I was feeling ashamed of a current situation my family was going through. This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, opinions, and impressions are my own and not influenced by anyone else.
If you don’t know I love the dictionary (thesaurus too)!
Shame – \ˈshām\
- a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong
- dishonor or disgrace
- a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety
- a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute
I found it surprising that shame was defined as a condition. As I read Shame On Me and reflected on my personal experiences I began to understand how shame can be considered a condition and the impact that it has on us as emotional beings. This book resonated with me from the beginning I could relate to Dunia’s defining moment and that moment of clarity when everything seems to make sense and you regain control.
How many times have you been made to feel ashamed of something? It can leave you feeling unsure and cause discontent. Dunia writes how shame can be used as a method of control and to mask the inadequacies of others. It is important that we don’t accept negative things as fact, especially when they are about us. This prevents change from happening and can warp our sense of self-worth. By examining negative beliefs you can uncover the truth and lead to positive change.
Dunia highlights three areas where this deep-seated embarrassment is most effective and causes confusion and frustration:
- Sexual identity
As a parent, I really stopped to consider how my words and actions might impact my little ones. With a teenager and an infant, I want to parent in a way that is positive and uplifting so that my children are empowered to believe in themselves and make good decisions. I want them to believe and support their thoughts and feelings because they are entitled to them. I don’t want to shame them for making mistakes or thinking differently, that is what life is all about right? It’s a continual learning process.
Dunia doesn’t offer a one size fits all solution, but he does give a lot of insight and examples of how shame transformed his life, and what he did to overcome and manage his shame filter and regain control of his life. Shame will always exist but we don’t have to succumb to it. We can learn from those embarrassing mistakes and grow from them and not let them change our perspective on life and impact our relationships.
I enjoyed this book. It made me think who are we to shame another for their actions and beliefs. Who breaks this cycle of shame and how? I think it starts by embracing individuality and learning from our mistakes without judgment. I can see how shame-based thinking could be masked as timidness and lead people into depressive states.
Emotions are strong and have a profound impact on our lives. Dunia also highlights the importance of working with a therapist, which I recommend as well. To learn more about John Dunia’s book, Shame On Me: Healing a Life From Shame-Based Thinking, visit his website shamedoctor.com