On reflection, I see that I’ve grown up with preconceived biases and beliefs, familial blinkers and truths. These confused me. I’ve felt neither good enough nor smart enough to be effective in life. And that, my dear reader, is about shame and feeling ashamed.

Brene Brown defines shame as “I am bad”

I’ve always felt confusion about how to connect with the “reality” of the world and to conform with norms that made no sense to me. My sense of the “right” and “wrong” way to go about life and to fit in has always felt unwieldy. Yes, I have high moral values and care, love and kind are essential to my life. And, yet, how do I “fit” in?

For many, the life structure is: follow this formula to success and you’ll have made it. Yet, these formulas make for unhappy people, confused people, people not following their actual hearts and dreams. Their natural creativity.

We are expected to fit the mould and to follow the design of our forebears and friends and folk we see as the bearers of truth, wisdom and understanding. According to the beliefs and cultural norms we’re given. We are meant to just copy and emulate what are considered the right ways to fit in. To conform to order of the community or culture.

And that is where I see the mental and psycho-emotional, even spiritual- health issues arise. The norm does not fit the individual and the norm cannot understand why people appear broken. And the norm reckons that they require a fix (for others to feel safe).

Personally, I constantly seek to understand. To find a place and space that I feel normal, healthy and at home in the world, in a culture of love, rather than fear; a culture of co-operation not competition; a culture where people collaborate and respect and build together. Humanity at its best is a force to be reckoned with. It has power beyond measure, through the choice to be together, to play together, to create together; to understand and work together, pulling out the values and sharing them in.

Right and wrong belong to a black and white, blame culture. There is such a broad and wonder-filled spectrum between these extremes of colourlessness. We can all harmonise by choosing. And in choosing, we can put down the pain, we can put down the suffering. And, we can walk away from the rightness and wrongness that alienate us from both ourselves and our communities.

Up for a conversation on this? Let me know.

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