Tag Archives: guilt

Caring for the Caregivers: When Family and Work Values Collide – Episode #24

Making a decision between your family and your work is never an easy task, especially when, which is more important changes with the circumstances. How can you determine when being with your family is most important? When going to work and supporting your clients is most important? In this episode Indrani, Amy, and Jeremie discuss tools you can use to make important decisions between your family and your work.

[powerpress channel=”caregiverpodcast”]

Episode Time Codes

00:00 Introduction
01:20 Scenario
02:12 Jeremie – Accommodate, Avoid, Attack – How we say NO without saying NO
09:25 Discussion
17:00 Indrani – Your unreasonable “perfect should list”
23:10 Discussion
25:50 Amy – Contradictions between your different roles leading to shame
30:38 Discussion
39:00 Conclusion
40:36 Outro

Should I Score YOUR story?

I make it a daily habit to go onto Facebook and examine the lives and experiences of the people in my community.  Although it’s part of my job as a social media specialist for Indrani’s Light Foundation to dive into social media about life events, on occasion, I have been guilty of “comparing” my story to other life stories.  I find stories in my community that make my story seem like a cakewalk…. meaning that I feel guilty for believing I have suffered in my life.

I begin to give my story a score, from 1 to 10.

score image

Let me give you an example ….

I suffer from PTSD syndrome due to a few events that happened to me in the past.  I face many triggers, sometimes on a daily basis …. sometimes in my dreams that show up as nightmares.  BUT, I feel guilty about sharing my story with others.  Why?  Because I may end up talking to someone who is currently fighting for their lives after being diagnosed with stage IV cancer, or someone who was brutally gang raped as a young woman, or a man who was locked in a coffin as a child to face his discipline, and was sexually abused by his orphan caretakers on a daily basis.  My story seems to pale in comparison to theirs.

“Based on these friends’ stories …. I give my own story a 3.”

Where did I learn that we, as humans need to measure our feelings? If our lives are not measured, then it doesn’t exist, right?

Here is where I get vulnerable.

Now, I also find myself, on occasion, judging others about their stories by comparing them to my own story.  Yes, I’m human.  Yes, I feel guilty about this, too.  When I read someone’s Facebook post that complains about their job, and how they don’t feel appreciated for their work.  My mind begins to wander with thoughts such as:

“Oh that’s a bummer {sarcastically}  Well, try losing your dream job because your newly promoted sexist, homophobic supervisor is on a mission to fire you from your 20 year career just because you are a gay woman, and causes you to file a federal law suit that will last for 4 ½ years …. and will eventually be settled out of court, and meanwhile you will never be able to return to your dream career because you have been “blacklisted” by other agencies.”

“Based on this friend’s “job” story … I give my story a 10.”

Have YOU been secretly scoring other people’s stories?  Are you brave enough to admit it?  Notice I am NOT scoring the other person’s story…. Just my own.  Should I give theirs a score?  Should I score YOUR story?

The answer to this question is a resounding, “NO!”

Comparing my life to others has been a daily journey, and I work at staying empathetic to everyone’s feelings and experiences.  Most of the time I battle with feelings around why I shouldn’t complain, or feel badly about ANYTHING in my life.

“There are children starving all over the world.”

“A parent just lost his child in a car accident.”

“Women are being raped and beaten every day.”

My story, and your story, should never be compared to any other story. Your stories, and the effect they have on your life should only be scored in relation to how they make YOU feel, not anyone else. If what you are experiencing right now is, for you, a 10 on the painful story scale, then that is true for you, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

I have learned a great deal from Indrani Goradia and Dr. Brené Brown about being vulnerable and speaking my truth.  I practice empathy on a daily basis, and I have compassion for peoples’ stories, at any level.  I have even arrived at, what Brené Brown calls, “excruciating vulnerability,” and have begun the process of “deconstructing shame.”  (Listen to Brené’s TED talk here).

I invite you to pursue this simple “Call to Action” right now.  Go to our website, and listen to the “Live-A-Brighter-Life” podcasts.  You can also find them on iTunes.  Within our teachings, we will give you the tools to help you reach out, speak your truth, and find shame resilience.  YOU are worthy.  YOU are loved.  YOU matter.


With love & light,

Amy Dier
Director of Education & Training | Indrani’s Light Foundation


Brighter Life Bit #21: Moving from shame to humiliation or embarrassment

ILF_Wtagline_LogoYou can listen to the original teaching at the 25 minute mark of the Class 3 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

In some situations you may not be able to replace your feelings of shame with guilt. In these moments, guilt may not be the appropriate emotion, but what about humiliation and embarrassment?

Humiliation is a feeling that stems from an experience that causes you to lose your prestige, standing, or self-respect. Humiliation says “I didn’t deserve this.”

Embarrassment is a feeling that stems from an experience that causes you to lose your composure, usually due to bad judgement or vulnerability. It is a more fleeting sense of discomfort. Embarrassment says “one day this will be funny.”

Shame says “I am bad
Guilt says “I have done something bad
Humiliation says “I didn’t deserve this
Embarrassment says “one day this will be funny

Using these four definitions:

  1. Think of a time when you have experienced shame.
  2. Ask yourself: Which definition (guilt, humiliation, embarrassment) do I choose to replace shame with?
  3. How are you different once you reframe the shame you felt?

You can choose to not feel shame. If, instead, you can live these definitions in life you can choose what you feel and choose a better description.

Share your experience with shifting from shame to guilt, humiliation, or embarrassment in the comments below:

Brighter Life Bit #20: Moving from shame to guilt

ILF_Wtagline_LogoYou can listen to the original teaching at the 25 minute mark of the Class 3 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

What if you are not actually experiencing shame?

Shame says “I am bad,” leading you to feeling powerless and invisible.

But what if what you are actually experiencing is guilt?

Guilt says “I have done something bad

This is a big difference. Shame makes you believe that you, as a person, are bad, while guilt shows the truth of the situation: you are a good person who has, at this certain point in time, done something bad.

Guilt can be a healthy emotion when used constructively to hold you accountable to the person you want to be. Guilt can guide you to see that you have done something bad, so you can make a commitment to not repeat the action.

Replacing shame with guilt, moving from “I am bad” to “I have done something bad” can guide you towards making positive change in your life.

In order to better understand guilt and how to replace shame with guilt you can:

  1. Write down some of your own reasons for feeling personal guilt.
  2. Write down times in your life when you have felt shame.
  3. Compare your “guilt list” to your “shame list.” Can you shift some of these shame experiences into guilt experiences?

What opens up for you as you make this shift from “I am bad” to “I have done something bad” Share your thoughts below:

LABL 003: Letting Go – Uncover Your Self-Respect

Welcome to Episode #3 of the Live A Brighter Life Podcast!

In this episode of the Live A Brighter Life Podcast Indrani and Andrea discuss letting go. Specifically you will:

  • Define “shame”
  • Differentiate between shame, guilt, humiliation and embarrassment
  • Understand the dangers, irony, and contradictions of shame
  • Acknowledge triggers
  • Identify the sources of shame
  • Practice critical awareness


I Thought It Was Just Me by Brené Brown

Podcast Recording


De-friending fear…


Oh how Facebook has reduced us to junior high feelings all over again.

online drama via living.msnThose feelings weren’t that great the first time around. Now they are possibly worse because, on top of the same old teenage insecurities floating to the surface we have that feeling that OMG, really, I am a grown adult and am so emotionally involved in who is my friend or not on Facebook.

REALLY? Grow up!

The inner monologue goes something like this:
Will you be my friend?
Did you like my post?
Why did not you like my photo?
Why didn’t you comment on my post on your wall?
How come you didn’t Facebook me?

The inner voice is louder now: “What’s wrong with me that you do not want to be my friend or like the shit I post?”

Any of these statements ring true to you?

I shake my head in wonder of myself.
I recently had to de-friend someone who I thought was my friend but who did not act like my friend.

My finger hovered over the button to click as I planned on de-friending that person.
Oh the shame to de-friend….
The shame that I did not want to be their friend.
The shame that I was being mean or I was acting like a bitch.
The shame I would hurt their feelings.
The shame that as much as they wanted to be my friend…..I did not want them to be mine.
But the shame is that other person did not respect me, my rules, terms, conditions or non-conditions (as the case may be) of being MY friend.

Why should we feel shame de-friending someone who is not being a friend.

I click “de-friend”. I did it.

Oh the guilt. I have been de-friended and I know what it feels like to be de-friended. It’s like HEY I thought we were friends what the HELL is wrong with you to de-friend me? What did I do wrong?
Oh the guilt, will they call, text or email me asking me why? What will I say?
The guilt if I made someone feel less of a person because I did not want to be their friend.

It is amazing how this thing called Facebook can evoke these and so many emotions.
There is my Facebook friending insecurities rant.

Now I have one less friend….so friend me, I have a spot to fill!

The GUILT belongs to the PERP….

I had the GREAT fortune to attend the Omega Women and Power Conference last month.

The line-up was powerful enough make activists faint!
-Eve Ensler
-Isabel Allende
-Sally Fields
-Elizabeth Lesser- Co-founder of Omega

Elizabeth Lesser gave a house raising key note and one of the points that resonated most with me was this…
The guilt belongs to the perpetrator.

The GUILT belongs to the PERP.


For every woman who has ever been violated…
For every child who has received or witnessed abuse…
For everyone who has ever been the focus of a bully…
You do not have to feel the guilt.
The guilt needs to be given back to the abuser.

Perhaps you are still at risk and cannot say this out loud. Say it to yourself as you are standing in front of them and being betrayed.
Remember to take yourself out of harm’s way and stay strong in your energetic resolve to give the guilt to the true and rightful owner…the abuser, that’s who.

Guilty until proven innocent…

No, that is not a typo.

What happens in our own minds when we feel someone has wronged us?

We immediately sentence them, don’t we? We KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are GUILTY of whatever we are thinking.

There is NO jury that can convince us otherwise.

There is NO ONE who can talk us out of the litany of offenses and the amount of times that they have wronged us. We are the JUDGE and the JURY.

We begin to “build a case” in our minds and we have long running mental tirades with ourselves. We become more and more convinced that they not only committed the crime but they premeditated it and all because they hate us. Yes, we begin to write such far out scripts that soon we don’t even remember what their latest offense was…only that WE WERE ABSOLUTELY OFFENDED!

So let me suggest a way for you to move through this.

When you are:
Pissed off
Ticked off
Very Angry
Ready to Explode

Ask yourself this question. WHO must do WHAT to make you feel better?

Fill in the sentence below:

________________________ (insert offender) must do ____________________________ (insert action they must do) so that I can stop being _________________________ (insert emotion). When ____________________ does ____________________ then I will feel___________________________.

Really take your time with these sentences. Read and reread to be sure it accuses the right person and be sure you have determined precisely what they must do to atone for their behaviors/words etc.

Now take a marker and cross out THEIR name and insert the pronoun “I”.
Really? Really? YES, really!

You alone are responsible for your feelings.
Please be aware that this exercise does NOT apply to abuse of any sort.
If you are experiencing any form of abuse PLEASE GET HELP IMMEDIATELY.

If this is NOT about abuse, then these exercises will help you to focus on WHO is in charge of YOUR emotions.

Remember, no one can make you feel anything without your permission.

Love and light


Take my LEAD

L – Let go of what others expect of you.  Make your own rules.  Take your power without permission.

E – Engage with the messages from your body… Easy as 123.
1- accept that your body has wisdom.
2- allow your behaviors to first do no harm to your own self.
3- believe that joy and happiness are your birth rights.

A – Allow yourself to feel the discomfort of Fear Regret Hurt Guilt.  Feel these and other emotions deeply and freely without judging yourself.  New life comes from birthing pain… Allow the pain so your new life can be birthed.  What new thing will be birthed in you today.

D – Decide to chart your own course.  Find and follow your purpose.  We all have a divine purpose and you KNOW what it is.  Sit in silence each day for about 10 minutes and allow the whisperings of your purpose to surface.  It wants to, but the noise of your everyday life keeps it silent.