Tag Archives: shame

Reading Your Self-Esteem

In our culture there is no shortage of books on self-esteem. Currently the most popular topic in the self esteem department is shame and vulnerability. You will often hear women using words such as brave, daring, great, and imperfect. Thanks Brene!

For Lent my church has been reading “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life” by Richard Rohr and I belong to a book group that is reading “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are; Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life” by academic researcher Brene Brown. Both books discuss similar topics but in much different ways. I am only part way through both books, but I’ve already noticed some important differences between the two.


Falling Upward and Gifts

I’m thankful for Brown’s material on shame becoming popular and mainstream. Shame is not an emotion we have been taught to recognize, address and eliminate when necessary. Because of Brene Brown’s popularity, her research and media appearances have shown society the damage that comes from living a life of constant shame. Her book and her talks on the Oprah network have been great for helping people who have issues with their own sense of shame, but I find her work is seriously lacking in helping people recognize when they shame others or stifle the vulnerability of others.  As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, when people are hurt, they tend to hurt others. I wish her book had dedicated some space to dealing with this truth. If you are not able to take ownership for the shame and hurt that you impose onto other people; then you are not really living the wholehearted life that Brown has been teaching.


It’s important to be able to list all the wonderfully great things about ourselves, but we have to remember we are human. Our list of self descriptions need to include both the positive and the negative. As Brown likes to remind us, we are all imperfect. Am I a kind person? Yes I am. But I also know that I am impatient, which means that at times I can also be an unkind person. Does this make me a bad person? No. It simply means I am human and need to be able to recognize when I hurt others and make any necessary amends.

Richard Rohr’s “Falling Upward” goes deeper than Brown’s work. This might be because he is a Franciscan priest which makes it nearly impossible for him not to delve deeply into human behaviour. He makes it clear to readers that our inability to accept that challenges in our lives are a necessary part of being human is what helps to create the “unnecessary suffering” so many people experience. He references Carl Jung in stating, “he said neurotic behaviour is usually the result of refusing that legitimate suffering! Ironically, this refusal of the necessary pain of being human brings to the person ten times more suffering in the long run.”

let things go

Feelings and emotions are complex. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to experience change or transformation; we must accept the fact that the process is uncomfortable at times and requires life long work. Those who suffer from addictions never claim to have been cured or free from their addictions; they know that at any time they could easily fall back into old habits and coping mechanisms. I feel this is how we should view personal change; never fool yourself into believing you’ve got everything figured out.


The Blessing of ADHD: Turn it around!


One Word: Blessing

The Blessings That Comes With Having ADHD

For those who have ADHD you might be wondering what exactly could be a blessing of having ADHD? There doesn’t seem to be any blessing in the list of traits describing ADHD: constantly late, disorganized, forgetful, impatience, trouble concentrating, easily distracted, zoning out and a host of other negatives symptoms that make it difficult to navigate the world of work and personal relationships.

None of the traits of ADHD resemble the Fruits of the Spirit, Corinthians 13, or any of the other teachings by St. Paul on how to be a good Christian. Knowing this, how does one find blessings in having ADHD?

I have ADHD and I have it bad! At various times in my life this disorder has turned me into a hot mess! I haven’t mastered this disorder, and it is an ongoing process to make effective changes, but I strongly believe that if I stay positive and focus on the blessings, then I will be able to succeed in life. I believe this applies to others with ADHD as well. I’ll share with you a few of the negative traits of ADHD that can be reframed when we make the choice to engage in the process of turning these negatives into positives and bring healing into our lives.

If we believe that Jesus was able to: make a blind man see, mentally free a demon possessed person, stop the flow of a hemorrhaging woman, and bring a deceased loved one back to life; then I believe that God is able to help those of us with ADHD bring healing to our lives while we manage the symptoms of this disorder.

adhd no shame



Turn It Around With These Blessings:

-Know that God loves you and you are worthy of this because He has said so. Give Him praise everyday for His love.

-Don’t be afraid or a shamed to let others know that you have Adult ADHD. It’s not some sort of non-treatable contagious disease that people need to fear.

adhd mood permission


Turn It Around With These Blessings:

-Become aware of your emotions and how you are feeling. Check- in with yourself throughout the day so you can recognise when you are steering towards disorganization and other frustrations.

– Be vulnerable and brave enough to apologise to others when your ADHD traits have caused you to hurt others. Be gentle towards yourself and practice self-forgiveness; release unhealthy guilt.

adhd relationship


Turn It Around With These Blessings:

-Spend your time with people who understand the challenges of ADHD. If there are people who are judgemental towards your disorder, unforgiving, or harsh with you; remove them from your life or decrease the amount of time you spend with them.

-Be conscious of the traits that are causing fractures within your family. Be willing to admit where you are struggling and work together with family members to deal with troublesome issues.

adhd at work


Turn It Around With These Blessings:

-Find employment that can accommodate your symptoms.  The goal is to recognise what would make the workplace more suitable for you without it compromising your ability to fulfill your duties.

-Discover your gifts. God has gifted you alongside having this deficit. ADHD is not an absence of gifts, skills, abilities and talents. The challenge is to discover these and make them work for you and your employer without the ADHD traits getting in the way.

ADHD Passion-and-Purpose


Turn It Around With These Blessings:

-Use your ADHD fueled passion to make somewhere in this world a better place to be. Use it to bring happiness, justice, efficiency and joy to the lives of others and yourself.

-Learn to accept that passion filled persons with ADHD are visionaries who see the world in pictures. Be gentle and understanding towards those who can’t see past two feet in front of them. They aren’t visionaries and that is alright; it’s your job and gift to be the visionary. Leave it to them to the manage the details.


Prayer for those with ADHD who just need to stop, pause and pray! 

prayer pause