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.
Father Len explains why guilt is a good and shame is evil.
Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom
- Father Len reacts to the pain and suffering inflicted on Tarana Burke, founder of the “Me Too Movement,” by the shame she felt after being raped and sexually molested as a child.
- Shame is evil because it mars the image of our being made in the image of God and crushes our self-worth.
- Shame is dangerous and correlates to increased incidence of addiction, eating disorders depression, and suicide.
- Guilt is about amending our behavior and increasing our self-worth.
- Guilt is a tool for self-improvement; becoming more loving, more kind, more patient.
- Shame is a tool of oppression, racism, and sexism.
- Guilt is based on love and shame is based on evil.
- Father Len shares a fun story about catching kids stealing dark chocolate from him to illustrate why guilt is good and guilt and shame are not the same.
- Religion should be a force for inflicting guilt and healing shame.
- Both guilt and shame make us feel bad, but for different reasons. Guilt makes us feel bad because we realize we could have done something better. Shame makes us feel bad because some horrific event causes us to define ourselves as trash.
- Brené Brown’s podcast: “Unlocking Us”
- Brené Brown’s TED Talk: “The Power of Vulnerability”
- Shame loves to hide in the dark and doesn’t like being named. Privately and sadly, the lives of many people are controlled by shame.
- Healing shame is not easy, but working through the process brings wisdom, compassion, and joy.
- The Catholic Church is like a good mother who teaches her children guilt to help them grow and become better and more loving human beings.