Posted on October 26, 2014
Truth without Shame
Who you are on the inside? Do you show that person to the world?
This week, I listened to a recent speech by Monica Lewinsky. She spoke courageously about the effects of public humiliation, damage to reputation, and the consequences of shame.
Monica is speaking out about her personal experience in 1998 when she fell in love with the US President at the age of 22. She spoke of how the media’s representation of her lacked integrity. Through the media’s representation, the public judged her without knowing her. This deeply affected her sense of self and took years to overcome.
The effects of public humiliation are found in many facets today, not limited to celebrities being effected daily and children being bullied in schools and online.
The consequences she spoke of are dire, where children and youth are taking their lives as they are literally humiliated to death.
Attitudes and actions towards one another are in need of compassion and reflection, as a whole society, all ages, races, ethnicities, gender, etc.
Our society lacks empathy for one another in this social media age. The Internet gives immediate access to the world with no boundaries or limits. We are often encouraged to hold the perspective of media or the expectation of society, without question.
I believe in Monica’s message about shame and humiliation, and the changes needed in our society. I also heard another important message from her:
“Being publicly separated from your truth is one of the classic triggers of anxieties, depression, and self loathing. The greater the distance between the ‘you’ people want you to be and the ‘you’ you actually are, the greater will be your anxiety, depression, sense of failure, and shame.”
Often, the perception of who we are to others can differ from our own perception of who we are, even without media or bullies. The effects are not limited to depression, stress, and shame. I also see the effects as: lacking meaning in life; unclear decision-making; and resentment towards others. The negative impacts grow with the separation we are building between: who society thinks we are; who we think society wants us to be; and who we really are.
Regularly I ask, “What would life be like if everyone could truly be the person they are on the inside, without worrying about the perceptions or judgements of others? Would we be satisfied in life, become healthier beings, and be accepting of others?”
Trusting our sense of self is valuable, it’s the most precious currency we own. Tweet This!
When we give into the perceptions of others and allow them to impact our choices, we give away our precious currency, our sense of self.
Will you do this? The next time you notice yourself making a decision based on someone else’s perspective of who you are, take a stand for yourself. There is no shame in being YOU.
Thank you for taking your time to read this article today. If you would like to listen to the speech made by Monica Lewinsky, you can see it here.
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Be True to Yourself.