By Kaileen Arsenault, Intuitive Needs Assistant
READING TIME: 5 MINUTES
Hi hi! Your Intuitive Needs Assistant is back to chime in.
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I’ve previously written here about the service I offer at Wellness & Co. and how my service offers extra help in the home for those who are needing support during a season to manage their household needs. Support takes shape in a variety of ways and the work I do with each and every one of my clients looks unique. I’ve worked with clients who are amidst a home move, clients needing to transition to a life of working virtually, and families that are needing new organizational systems for growing kids and busy lives.
More recently, I’ve been feeling compelled to share about a different topic in my work and bring to light one of the feelings that I observe emerging at times when working with clients. I’ve hesitated to sit down and actually speak about the topic because, by nature, it is a difficult one and I really wanted to be able to give the topic the intention it needed. While we all might be pulling out the perfect Fall decor from the garage and trying to finalize our kiddos Halloween costumes (no shame if you wait until the week of) we may not be accessing or even considering this spooky facet of our life – shame.
Shame in my Home? Seriously?
You may be wondering how shame falls into the world of home organization and to-do list tackling, The answer is, quite a bit. What I’ve discovered is most people may not even realize that the negative feelings they are having towards their home environment can be translated to the emotion of shame.
As humans, we naturally avoid feelings of shame in a myriad of ways and as a result, we miss the opportunity to understand why we feel the way we do. And, although shame is commonly experienced in our relationships with others, we actually do have a relationship with our home; and therefore, a preconceived idea of what that home, and taking care of it, should look like. Society sets standards of cleanliness, our primary caregivers set expectations of image or status, and internally we develop a “right and wrong” way to care for and exist in our homes.
Ways To Tell Shame Is Hiding In Your Home
As we ignore the growing discomfort of shame in our homes, we all react and behave differently. Some of us may find ourselves:
What To Do When Shame Creeps Through Your Doors?
First, let me start by giving you a brief overview of shame and the difference between idealized and realistic versions of our home.
Shame can be defined as the feeling of humiliation or embarrassment following a perceived moral failing that we believe is uncontrollable in us1.
Each one of us has an idealized version of our home – how we feel our home “should be” in relation to cleanliness, organization, status, image, etc.
In addition to the idealized version each one of us has the realistic version of our home – how our home and home management actually is in the current season.
What Happens When We Cannot Bridge the Gap Between Idealized and Realistic?
Shame occurs when we cannot rationalize the difference between the two. In order to make sense of this gap, we then draw the conclusion that our home must not be the idealized version we long for because of some personal inadequacy within.
I want to pause and say, suffering consciously or unconsciously from shame, whether for a period or chronically, is incredibly difficult. Shame is terrifying to those who endure the loops of near constant internal critiques and the pulls to stay endlessly vigilant for the next time you will fail to meet the standards of society.
If you feel you may struggle with shame, I want you to know – you are not the product of how your home looks and is functioning around you. Instead,
your home is meant to be an expression of you.
Your home is meant to function for you and your needs. The words that fill your head about yourself, your ability to maintain your home, and your ability to execute the tasks that keep things flowing are incorrect. The shame story is incorrect.
The Gut Punch of Shame
Recently, I began reading a book about understanding shame, and in addition to the definition I first provided you, shame was defined and expanded upon with words like, self-loathing, hopelessness, worthlessness, despair, out of control, overwhelmed, and falling apart. Not only was shame described using words that are hard to stomach on a regular basis, but it also described the experience of shame as ongoing, internal, and all encompassing.
In other words, when experiencing the world of shame and the feelings that go with it, you are unable to simultaneously experience the positive feelings of the present moment, and most importantly, feel positively about yourself.
It’s Me, Hi, I’m the Problem, It’s Me
Shame takes form as internalization. Essentially, instead of being a person who occasionally makes mistakes and/or falls short, you view yourself as an inferior person overall and that there must be something wrong with you.
Learning about shame can be a difficult endeavor because in learning how shame impacts you, we are often left feeling ashamed. So the cycle continues.
The Home is YOUR Avenue for Healing
I know at most times logical reassurances can fall short. Most likely the critiques that shame produces in your head have always been there (or have a far off origin story that can be challenging to uncover). You need someone to understand the uniqueness of the current season you are in. You need someone to understand the feeling of failure from not achieving the idealized version of your home. You need someone to care about the current growth of your home as much as you care about your idealized version of your home.
In my journey of learning about shame I have discovered how important compassion, empathy, and understanding are. Due to the nature of how shame makes us feel internally, it’s hard to even discuss shame aloud. Therefore, the signs that we are experiencing shame are quickly and aggressively ignored, silenced, and pushed past. Remember the signs of shame I listed earlier?
Do you see yourself in that list? Frantically cleaning, endlessly doing, overwhelmed and hopeless?
Wherever you are in your journey of achieving a home and space that works for you, I see you.
The work of creating a home is worthwhile and important. Again, creating a space that serves you and leaves you feeling energetically at ease is hard and valuable work.
If after reading this you feel you may struggle with a shame fueled relationship with your home, let’s chat…I know feeling the stress of home chaos as your personal failure is a burden too big to carry alone.
Feeling like shame needs to be unpacked on a different level than in the home? → Check out the therapists and coaches on our team!
Feeling like you’re ready to have personal freedom and a home that serves your needs – AKA get to the root of it all? Let’s go!
Kaileen helps individuals bring organization into their home. A personal assistant with an intuitive touch. She helps reduce clutter and chaos and replaces it with lightness and possibilities. Working with highly productive individuals, working mama’s, and busy families, Kaileen shines when you let her intuition execute your visions.
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