At the end of my previous post, I said I'd write a bit about how I imagine shame resilience, meditation and awareness go together. I was using Brown's thoughts on the characteristics of people who are shame resilient, only recasting them as steps in a process.
The first step is to gain an understanding of what triggers our feelings of shame as persons with a chronic illness (mental or physical) and/or chronic pain.
The second step is to use this new understanding to practice critical awareness.This is where I believe meditation or prayer or deep reflection -- whichever suits you -- comes in.
What is critical awareness? The word critical in that phrase does not mean to criticize or to be critical in a judgmental sense. It's a matter of simply being aware -- without judgment or frustration and without rushing to 'fix' ourselves -- of when our feelings of shame are triggered. And my own experience has taught me that regular meditation is a wonderful tool for becoming self-aware without becoming self-judgmental.
There's an article I love about this in a magazine I rarely read: O, The Oprah Magazine. The article is called "Boost Your Self-Esteem With Meditation."
|Photo by William Marsh|
One final thought: meditation is not a magic, one-time fix. I have said before that these kinds of inner and spiritual changes come about only in the context of a life that includes regular practice of meditation or prayerful reflection.
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