This community is designed to be a welcoming space to enhance mindfulness inquiry and exploration. In this spirit, please share and respond mindfully and compassionately, cultivating continued respect, safety, and support for all.
I miss my hugs and I think this should be a reminder for me as well to give and get a hug from one. You are right about the image-flung out and crazy hippie tree huggers. We are the ones who get what is real though. Enjoy your arboreal hug.
I started this early and came back after my walk. I had a wonderful tree hug and had a hard time letting go.
Considering the tragedy that occurred on Monday of the police killing of George Floyd, I have relied on mindfulness to keep myself in a state of relative calm. I can barely watch the video but I feel that as a citizen I need to be informed of the horror of the incident, because I think that the US tends to whitewash the history of our cruelty to black people, indigenous people, and other minorities. It is too easy to look away from these police killings; to minimize or rationalize the violence. I belong to a movement in Minneapolis called Humanize my Hoodie. Following is their mission from their website www.humanizemyhoodie.com
The Humanize My Hoodie Movement originated from a demand to end the killing of Black and Indigenous People across the world. As descendants of slaves, we recognize how hoodies have been used to amplify the myth of Black criminality. Our mission is to debunk that stereotype by designing revolutionary campaigns for Black and Indigenous People of Color to be HUMANIZED, not criminalized.
Part of being mindful for me is being involved in activities that feed my soul. That includes Humanize my Hoodie, and Path to Freedom, which is about teaching mindfulness and life skills to prisoners. I'm passionate about sharing the gifts I've received in life to those less fortunate. This is not about being righteous, it's about the compassion and humanity that encompass the very core of mindfulness and being present. If we are in our bodies and aware of our true nature, the desire to give and contribute is as automatic as breathing.
I agree with both of you, and thank you for quoting the brilliant Brene Brown. I actually had to opportunity to meet her when she gave a talk in Minneapolis, and she is down-to-earth and just lovely. I always defined guilt to my clients as the nagging feeling you might get after you do something that goes against your values. In this way, it can be useful, because it can keep you from repeating an action that is not helpful (such as stealing a candy bar.) However, holding onto guilt is not productive and a waste of mental energy.
I defined shame similar to Brene, and noted that it is typically a sense of being a bad or even evil person, which is internalized in childhood when the message is given, typically by a care giver, that there is something wrong with the child. The message can be given directly, ("there is something wrong with you, you're an awful child!") or indirectly, such as when a child is a victim of abuse, since a young child is by nature egocentric and doesn't understand that abuse is not his/her fault.
I believe that shame is the source of addiction and other compulsive behaviors, and that is takes a lot of work to heal, but it is possible. Mindfulness is certainly an excellent strategy since it is about acceptance, letting go of ego-attachments, and living in the moment. I think therapy is usually necessary too, in order to process trauma and incorporate all aspects of one's identity into a healthy self-image.
Thanks for sharing @Gene Williams! This reminds me of something I read in Brené Brown's book 'Daring Greatly'. In it, she differentiates between guilt and shame, explaining that guilt is the feeling 'I did something bad' whereas shame is the feeling 'I AM bad'. Here's a little more from her blog on the topic:
"Based on my research and the research of other shame researchers, I believe that there is a profound difference between shame and guilt. I believe that guilt is adaptive and helpful – it’s holding something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort.
I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.
I don’t believe shame is helpful or productive. In fact, I think shame is much more likely to be the source of destructive, hurtful behavior than the solution or cure. I think the fear of disconnection can make us dangerous."