If you're a woman resonating with the pain Sandra Fluke is experiencing from the very public shaming of who she is and the message she gave, you are not alone! Millions of women are right there with you, sometimes trying desperately to ignore the story because it's too close to home, sometimes raging against the unfairness. Here are some powerful ways to change that message and to help your heart heal.
- Weed Your Garden. The first powerful way you can combat the shame message is to get rid of people in your life who put you down and send you the message that who you are is not okay. You may need to learn healthy boundaries with your own family members, get out of an abusive relationship or get some serious help to address issues if you choose to stay in a relationship that is sending you shame messages. Take a look at the friends in your life. Look at your job and social interactions. Shame is like weeds that take over your garden and choke out good things. Pull them out! When Should I "Break Up" With A Bad Friend?
- Do the Healing Work. Just because you're away from those who send you shame messages doesn't mean your work is done! Those messages can rattle around inside your head and heart, and big deal moments like the Sandra Fluke story can bring them out and make you feel like cowering all over again. Without the work of healing, you're only putting a bandaid over a deep gash without allowing the healing to happen. Grab a coach or counselor and do the work. Sure, it will hurt for a minute...but you can be free!
- Be a Human Being. Embrace the fact that you've lived long enough to make mistakes. Celebrate the reality that you still get to have your voice, even though your past holds something other than perfection. Reject the opinions of the Rush Limbaugh's of the world who thrive on bully behavior; reject it just as if he were saying the moon were made of cheese. It's that wrong! 14 Relationship Mistakes We Wish You'd Stop Making
- Reach Out. Rather than trying to forget about your shame experience, use your past to reach out to another hurting woman. Public shaming and name calling is just another version of bullying behavior. Most folks ignore it when it happens, and that just makes it worse. Whether you stand quietly with another hurting woman or join a cause, step out and reach out!
Sandra Fluke's very public battle to advocate for women while being personally attacked is a sad commentary on how far we haven't come in this society to protect the voice of women. Rather than cowering or raging, use this moment to take a look at your own life. Weed your garden of those who send you shame messages. Grab a coach or counselor and do some healing work. Celebrate your humanness, and reach out to another woman who hasn't yet found her voice. No matter how much shame you feel inside, there is always hope! Faith: A Step Toward Healing
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