Last Sunday we took our son to the playground in our new neighborhood. Being two and half he is very insistent that his moms play with him. I engaged as I typically do, as a mature adult on-looker.
However, that quickly changed. The contagious playfulness of my toddler (and my wife) prompted me to start playing. I ran on the bridge, went down the slide, and looped across the monkey bars. Not long into this, my lovely conditioned self started chattering. -You look ridiculous. Stop acting like a child. People are LOOKING at you. Get down and be a proper mother! - I'm sure you've run into this same problem in a different situation. A waive of shame came over me and I quickly glanced around taking note of who witnessed the behavior, and then I resumed my on-looker post.
The old me would have left it at that. I would have stood in shame praying that no one saw me letting my inner child come out. The thoughts would have continued with - why did you make a fool of yourself? - and so on.
But I know better, and I know in bones that this kind of play is the very thing that brings me into alignment with my rich, abundant and wild life. So I kindly said to myself, "thanks for taking care of me in the past, but right now I want to play with my family and I hope that it encourages other adults to do the same."
Shame is a social emotion that is felt when you are being negatively evaluated either by your self or others because of failing to meet standards and norms of desirable behavior.
One thing to remember, is that there is no reason to feel shame because you always done the best you could with what you had available at the time. Gratitude can help you overcome shame, just like it did for me on the playground. I wasn't going to allow the shame of conditioned beliefs rob me of my joy.
So what did playing do?
- Raised my vibration. I was on a total high!
- Fun was had. As in, laughing, don't want to leave, fun.
- Set an example for my son that you are never too old to play.
- Connected with my family, which was the point of going to the playground in the first place.
- Stayed in the moment. I wasn't thinking about the past or even the future. I was just playing.
When are your moments of shame? I encourage you to practice gratitude and then, go play!