Happy New Year, what is new about it?
A new year is the perfect time to leave behind the things that no longer serve you and pick up something new that improves your life, your relationships, your life and the lives of those around you. Whether it is the decision to leave behind a few pounds, admitting you are struggling with an addiction, deciding depression is better left behind or making a plan to finish a home project that lurks on your to-do list there is one secret you need to know. Actually, it is no big secret, it is connection. It is how we, as humans are wired, we are wired for connection. Ask people about connection and they will tell you about disconnection. Is there something about me, that if other people know or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection; this is the basic definition of shame. It is the, “I’m not thin enough, smart enough, …” fill in the blank. It is shame that causes us to disconnect from people. The key to connection is vulnerability and a feeling of personal worthiness. People who connect and allow themselves to be vulnerable have courage, compassion and authenticity. Courage is fear that doesn’t give up and allows you to do something flaws and all. Compassion means, as an imperfect person I can relate to others and allow their imperfection. Authenticity is, being the person you truly are, as oppose to trying to be whoever someone else wants or expects you to be. So, it turns out, embracing shame and allowing vulnerability, lead to connection, which leads to joy. Connections. Connections improve your life, your relationships, your life and the lives of others. Don’t make resolutions; make connections. If you want to lose weight, find some friends to walk with on a regular basis and to hold each other accountable about what you eat. To get honest about an addiction, start with a twelve-step meeting, all of which are based on connection with others. The founders of the twelve-step program discovered that helping another addict get sober was not just nice; it was necessary. Depression thrives on loneliness and isolation. To fight depression, make connections with people. Want to finish that unfinished home improvement project? Invite a few friends to help you get it done. If you are in a place where shame and disconnection have stopped you cold in your tracks and connections seem impossible, consider starting with counseling (www.ormondbeachcounseling.com), meeting with a pastor or friend to share how shame is keeping you from leaving behind things that no longer serve you.
Thoughts for this blog are a combination of my own experience, the observation of the experience of addicts in recovery, and a youtube video by Dr. Brene Brown (which I love to watch) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0