What are you hiding from your partner?
What are you hiding from yourself?
What are you hiding from your business?
Shame forces us to hide.
Guilt is the THOUGHT that we did something bad.
Shame is the FEELING that we ARE something bad.
So we should be hidden.
Shame is an emotion that binds to others, and doesn’t feel good.
It exists for good reason though, because it protects the community. If, in the past, you did something horrific like slaughtered a member of your tribe, for example, you’d feel shame.
SHAME breaks the bridge of interpersonal connection, which is the ultimate punishment.
It is like the darkest place in the universe.
So shame is like a built in punishment system to keep the peace.
Obviously it doesn’t always work that way, and many people feel shame for reasons other than having done something heinous.
It doesn’t have to be that extreme though – perhaps you know that you’re not bad.
You are deserving of love and affection and true love just as much as the next person.
But what if there’s a feeling or a thought or a desire of yours that you’re not particularly proud of?
When I was fresh out of college and had my first salaried position as an administrative assistant and grant writing assistant at a non-profit, I felt like a fraud, and if I’m being honest with you today, I had some shame for my behaviors outside of the workplace.
Who am I, this 21 year old kid, to be getting a SALARY?
I barely knew how to dress myself professionally, and I didn’t like it (I still don’t). I felt like I was lying every time I put on a “professional” outfit (if we could call them that! I did my best.)
AND, because I finished college a semester early, I’d be hanging out with my friends who were in their spring semester of their senior year, out into the early hours of the morning engaging in all kinds of debauchery, and then stumbling into work the next day.
It was so much fun.
At times, I’d feel pretty badly about it though.
I always got the job done and at lightning speed, youth is pretty incredible.
But I totally suffered from impostor syndrome because who was I to be playing all night, and abusing myself drinking too much and partying like it was 1999 (when in fact it was 2001) WHILE trying to be this “professional” adult?
So, I put on my smile and my mask and arrived early each day and did my job.
This sense of impostor syndrome and perhaps some degree of shame followed me into my real jobs as a psychologist to some extent as well. Thankfully the majority of my colleagues always seemed to be human, but wanting to be my best self, I thought perhaps that I had something to hide.
NO, I would never dress up “professionally” (if we can call it that) on my own accord, and I’m a lot more agreeable at work than I might have been otherwise, particularly in the early days.
And so I continue to peel back the layers in my life and GET HONEST with myself. Which is why I’ve left every job I had and operate with myself as the boss and the one to answer to.
What does this have to do with your relationship?
Because the more of YOU that you can bring into your relationship…
The more HONEST you are with YOURSELF and your partner…
REGARDLESS of what’s going on inside…
As long as you honor and speak your truth with love, and show up, warts and all, vulnerable and without walls, you will have an honest relationship.
ONLY when you show up fully like this can you have the kind of relationship that dreams are made of.
This kind of honesty is enough to end a relationship as well, which is in part why I believe so many relationships can’t get to this level of intimacy and honesty, because people are afraid of loss.
We like to stay comfortable.
But do you really want to be uncomfortably comfortable?
Wouldn’t you choose a relationship that’s full on over one that is, let’s face it, a LIE?
Sometimes we don’t even realize we are lying to ourselves.
I thought for so long I was meant to work in hospitals, at schools, on a team of well meaning super intelligent rock star mental health professionals. I did it for years. I met some incredible people, colleagues, teachers, mentors, students, patients, leaders. I also got honest and knew that it wasn’t right for me.
I kept going to the next one thinking, “ah, THIS one is going to be it for me!”
But, each new place I found, despite the fact that it might have had a REALLY nice water dispenser or Keurig machine, had its shortcomings, largely, because I don’t do bureaucracy well.
I loathe games.
So I got honest with myself and I broke up with employability, despite always being a fairly valued member of the teams where I work (so I’d like to think!).
As a result, I’ve fallen in love with NEW friends, teachers, mentors, clients, coaches, colleagues and a new way to work in the world.
Granted, it’s a learning curve and at times a roller coaster, but I’ve never felt more at HOME, because I’m being more of MYSELF.
When you can show up FULLY as you — with all of your walled off feelings and desires and complaints and issues — in your relationship, THEN it will start to be the kind that dreams are made of.
What’s not working for you with your relationship, and yourself?
What are you hiding?
The little things you tend to look away from start like pebbles in a shoe. You can tolerate them for a little while, but after a few miles? You’ve got a ripped up and bloody foot.
Take the pebbles out now.
Take a minute to take inventory of YOUR experience, what’s going on for YOU, and get REAL and vulnerable with your partner and share it.
If your foot is bleeding, chances are your partner’s is as well, so if your attempt to talk about this doesn’t work, get some help and figure out how to have an HONEST conversation without walls, without defensiveness, and WITH true heartfelt emotional presence and openness.
Find someone to help you with that conversation.
Cheers to thriving in business and love,
PS Need some help? Set up a free consult here. If it doesn’t make sense for me to personally help you, I’ll most likely have some resources for you.