This was not an easy book to read. Mr. Bradshaw spoke about shame and how it affects us and our daily behavior. It was a hard concept for me to grasp at first. Many times I had to stop reading because of sensory, emotion, and information overload, and I had to let the concepts “marinate” in my mind overnight. Even after finishing the book, I found that I had to reread quite a few chapters just to better understand what he spoke about.
My best understanding is this: shame is a natural human reaction. When it is unresolved, it become toxic and binding. For example, I believed in perfection in everything I strived for and tried to attain. But reading the book helped reaffirm to me that perfection is not possible. I was trying to be more than human. My unresolved issues of the shame of failure to those close to me drove me to try and be superhuman. I now see that subconsciously I knew I was not perfect, but instead of embracing the fact that nobody is perfect, I let toxic shame build up inside me.
To hide from my shame I found fault in those around me, and became very judgmental and arrogant. I had become bound by my own shame.
Through reading the book, I am coming to the understanding that no human is perfect, we all have faults, we all make mistakes. In essence, we are human! Understanding and applying that simple concept will indeed go a long way in healing the shame that binds me, so that I continue to grow on my journey of personal self-growth.