As the holiday season gets fully underway the stress of attempting to be “perfect” in doing all that “needs to be done” hits us with full force. Connection with others becomes foremost in our every day experience as we juggle shopping, working, parties, entertaining, and on and on. Emotions run their highs and lows, and at times we end up
wishing all of it would just “be over with”.
A couple of weeks ago a video came my way which was a very well done interview by Patricia Gras with Dr. Brene Brown. Dr. Brown has done extensive qualitative research on the emotion of “shame” and its intimate connection with perfectionism. She states that shame is a very primitive emotion and that it has to do with fear of disconnection.
Connection is “hard wired” into our being as humans and is a basic need. Shame is an intensely painful feeling or belief that we are flawed in some way and somehow inadequate or unworthy of connection.
Our culture, through media and advertising, blasts us with perfectionism and ridicules those who are not – claiming that we will be accepted and loved if we are perfect.
We end up struggling and creating the very disconnection that we fear the most.
It is here that we are invited to look at areas of our lives where we struggle with perfectionism, and more importantly to share the stories with others we trust when we experience shame. It is our imperfection that connects us with each other – our shared humanity.
Thus, in attempting “perfection” we are actually disconnecting from the very connection we long for. In authentically sharing our experiences and receiving those stories from others with empathy we are connecting on the deep levels that call to us from our primitive instincts. Dr. Brown states “shame cannot survive empathy”.
(Go to Part 2 for the second half) (Thank you to Lynn Walker for this video!)
This holiday season let go of the perfection and appreciate your own humanity and that of others. Tell stories, listen to each other, and connect on real and authentic levels. Let go. Might this contribute to a different holiday season?
Now go to this video and see how easy it is to be connected just by being yourself as you are in the moment and simply waiting for the love to be reflected back to you. Don’t let anything get in the way of living your life in connection!
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT: www.BreathingSpaces.net
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