Father Len exposes the dangers of focusing on boosting self-esteem as a means to improve lives.
Father Len shares his favorite method for the difficult and necessary job of curing shame.
Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom
- Shame can control you and make your life and the lives of those around you miserable.
- Shame is that voice inside your head that constantly tells you that you are worthless.
- Self-esteem programs are not effective for curing shame.
- You have to learn how to love yourself in order to cure shame.
- The practice of self-compassion is the antidote to shame.
- Father Len introduces his version of the St. Ignatius Daily Examen that he uses and recommends to cultivate self-compassion and conquer shame.
- People who are controlled by shame are usually less compassionate.
- People who are able to change the shaming voices in their heads are more likely to develop grit and determination and overcome failures.
- Father Len demonstrates how he used the St. Ignatius Daily Examen to avoid shame and produce self-compassion and personal growth after being a “jerk” to a homeless man and his dog.
- Father Len tells the story of Oprah Winfrey using a daily gratitude journal to help overcome the shame of being raped, having a child out of wedlock and to learn that it’s the simple things in life, not her money, that bring her joy.
- “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
- “What I Know for Sure” by Oprah Winfrey
- You can pray as much as you want, but it will be hard to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit if the loud voices of shame are playing in your head.
- Shame is connected with low grade physical pain.
- If you are controlled by shame, every failure reminds you what a piece of trash you are.
- If you are controlled by self-compassion, every failure says I’m going to get better and better.
Responding to a listener’s question about whether God’s teachings are black and white, Father Len explains why it’s difficult for us to fully understand the language of God’s love.
Highlights, Ideas and Wisdom
- God’s morality and teachings are black and white and pure because God is love, without ego and without corruption.
- Our interpretation of God’s morality and teachings is often wrong because it is viewed through the prisms of our egos and agendas.
- Father Len illustrates the dangers of interpreting God’s word through ego by pointing out how wrong the Jews were in their interpretations of the Bible’s prophecies about Christ’s purpose on earth.
- Jesus interprets morality and laws from the perspective of love.
- Father Len points out that Jesus welcomed prostitutes and adulterers in his life knowing that prostitution and adultery are wrong because that’s what love does.
- Love perfects us.
- The Bible tells us that anyone who does not love and proclaims that they know God is a liar.
- Our black and white view of morality often errs on the side of being harsh and judgmental, void of love.
- Black and white morality can be very seductive because we can proclaim it to be justice, but without compassion it can be very wrong.
- There are two kinds of moral extremes: black and white and relativism. Both are based a lot on ego.
- Moral relativism is morality based solely on personal feelings and choice usually driven by ego or agenda.
- Reacting to immoral behavior with love forces us to have empathy and compassion.
- Father Len uses the Bible’s various perspectives on slavery to illustrate how God is constantly trying to help us evolve in our morality understanding we can’t always accept the whole truth all at once.
- Fully understanding God’s language of love and morality is a lifelong process.