Breaking the Isolation of Shame


By Tina Goode, Refuge Intern

“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”  Brene Brown

How many times do we try to hide our feelings from others?  Often we are willing to share the achievements and so called good things.  Yet, when life gets hard or things don’t go the way we had hoped many of us tend to hide this disappointment and isolate from others.  Fear leads us to believe the lie that we are so different that no one could possibly understand.  It is from this place of isolation that shame gains a foothold in our lives.  This cycle continues until we are willing to reach out and connect with others that can offer safety and understanding.

By connecting with others in groups, such as those offered at The Refuge Center or 12-step programs, the process of healing can begin.  We discover that while we are all unique, our hearts all beat just the same.  We bravely share our stories and many similarities where once we thought only differences existed.   Through connection, we use our collective strength to overcome the darkness and find that we are worthy of belonging and love.

“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.  Shame hates having words wrapped around it.  If we speak shame, it begins to wither.”  Brene Brown

For help with change, consider The Refuge Center.  Call us at (615) 591-5262 or visit our website at

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