If you saw my last post on shame and vulnerability where I shared about Brene Brown’s talk on TED, I just wanted to add a little more today after reading more about her books and her work.
I just ordered her book I Thought It Was Just Me after reading this great write up on About.com about the book and how it relates shame to eating disorders. Probably what sold me that this is something I wanted to understand better was this part of the review:
Specific to eating disorders and related topics, the book examines the ‘shame web’ of our social, familial, and personal expectations regarding beauty, external appearance and food. The book notes that billions of dollars are spent each year marketing beauty products and weight-loss schemes to women, creating an expectation that we should all be thin and beautiful (but not overly obsessed with our appearance). Yet, when we are inevitably unable to live up to such unrealistic expectations we experience shame, causing us to feel disconnected from those around us and become self-critical, blaming and fearful.
I am reminded of the work I did in the early days of my eating disorder recovery to find my sense of self worth. To find that inner knowing deep inside me that said “I am enough.”
I don’t know exactly how or why each of us loses our sense of self-worth and at what age the negative self-talk (aka Monkey Mind) gets louder and starts to out weigh our inner, loving, self-compassionate voice. Some people seem to only feel slightly disconnected from their wise, higher self that knows they’re worthy. They plug along and thrive.
I had an eating disorder for 20 years and I can tell you I let that Monkey Mind run the show day and night for two decades. Only once I reconnected to that inner voice, the one that merely whispers and speaks only positive, encouraging words to us did I wake up from my sleep of shame and deep loneliness.
Brene’s book, I Thought It Was Just Me, looks like it has a lot of great insights for people like you and me who let food and body image dominate our day to day thoughts. I’m years into my recovery journey, but one thing I know for sure is that it’s an every day job to keep that Monkey Mind at bay and the louder and deeper your connection to Self (God, Spirit, Source, etc), the less likely I am to be swayed by feelings and thoughts of lack and not-enough-ness.
If you’ve read Brene’s book and would like to share any feedback below for other readers, please do.