January 30, 2018

Healthy shame is the beginning of humility and risk-taking. When we awaken to how alike we are in heart and how we all carry the same inborn neediness, the healthy shame of being human awakens the following:

  • I need you and you need me.
  • I make mistakes and you do, too.
  • I don’t have all the answers, but I have some and so do you. Let’s share.
  • I’m not God; you aren’t God. We are human and in need of God.

These four statements are general recognitions of the humility, empathy, and equality of worth that are the basis for bringing full-hearted people together. These statements allow us to share our abilities and talents because what one person isn’t skilled in, another person will be. Together we can go farther than we can without help. They also allow us to accept each other as fallible and gifted, making room for forgiveness seeking and gratitude.

Moreover, these four inner-recognitions allow us to find strength in relationship. In the neediness of healthy shame, we find that we are empowered through relationship to live fully, love deeply, and lead well. In relationship with our selves, others, and God, we find the fullness of life by being connected, not isolated. Healthy shame moves us to experience of need of others and God, and therefore, moves us to find that which we are made to have to live well. The rejection of the four core expressions (toxic shame) robs us of the humility that can bless us.

To learn more about shame, read The Voice of the Heart and listen to our recent podcast Episode 94: Shame and Guilt.