One well-known voice who has shed insight on shame and how it can affect your life is Dr. Brené Brown.
Dr. Brown is a researcher and a storyteller at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has become well known for her research on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.
When your child’s substance use turns your world bleak and isolating, allow these quotes from Brené Brown on courage, shame, guilt, vulnerability, and connection to inspire you!
1. Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
2. Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.
3. As a shame researcher, I know that the very best thing to do in the midst of a shame attack is totally counterintuitive: Practice courage and reach out!
4. The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.
5. If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.
6. Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.
7. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
8. If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.
9. Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.
10. If we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.
11. A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.
12. I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.
13. When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.
14. We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.
15. I’ve learned that men and women who are living wholehearted lives really allow themselves to soften into joy and happiness. They allow themselves to experience it.
16. Guilt is just as powerful, but its influence is positive, while shame’s is destructive. Shame erodes our courage and fuels disengagement.
17. I’m just going to say it: I’m pro-guilt. Guilt is good. Guilt helps us stay on track because it’s about our behavior. It occurs when we compare something we’ve done – or failed to do – with our personal values.
18. Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.
19. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow – that’s vulnerability.
19. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.
21. Through my research, I found that vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the magic sauce.
22. Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous.
23. Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.
24. I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.
25. You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.
Do you have a favorite quote that inspires or motivates you? Please let us know in the comments below.
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