I was deeply touched recently when speaking with someone who said, “I felt erased in my family.” That phrase captured how shame feels. At times people have described shame as feeling “invisible.” But to feel erased means someone had a sense of self at one time and then lost it. To feel erased is to cease to exist, and that is unbelieveably painful. When a person experiences this they often cease having hope. I believe we all need to be truly seen and heard. We need a chance to tell our stories to someone who truly wants to hear it. With this we can begin to be seen, and the erased or invisible feeling begins to heal.
Daily reminder: To pay attention to each person we encounter, to look someone in the eyes, and to take time to listen, is how we begin to heal shame in this world.