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Old 06-14-2018, 01:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thoughts On Shame


This stems from another thread brought around recently on overcoming embarrassment .... things done while under the influence that later people are embarrassed about.

It got me thinking further about shame and the "nature" of shame.

*sigh*

Ever felt ashamed of something that WASN'T even your fault? I think of rape victims here. So many of them feel ashamed, even though they were clearly and totally the victim. Why IS that, I wonder?

Ever still feel ashamed of something you did years ago that you haven't even repeated again for a long long time? I have.

It's almost as if shame takes hold and has these talons that hang on to your psyche....

I think the enemy of our soul would like us to "hide" because of our shame. To isolate. To not come out of hiding and seek/ask for help. You see, that way...shame keeps us in bondage. Not able to experience true liberty of spirit.

That same enemy would love for us to worry excessively about what others think of us and assume they think badly of us. True there are some folks who cannot seem to forgive....but there are just as many others, if not more who do forgive and love unconditionally.

Have I had opportunities to love others unconditionally and let those opportunities pass me by? This is a searching question for me lately. What is unconditional love? What is tough love?

There is no magic potion called "shame be gone". If there was someone could make a fortune on it. In other words....there are many many folks in this world who are carrying shame around and have not idea how to let it go. They've tried. It's not like they haven't tried. But it's still there....hanging on....can't shake it loose....can't send it off somewhere far away...it's just there.

What has worked for you?
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Like me, it sounds like you are an emphatic person. We FEEL for other people. We hurt when they hurt. Their trauma effects us to a certain degree.

Same with the shame I feel from things I've done in the past. I do the "what-if" game a lot. What if I didn't treat this person that way, would things be better? Usually I think Yes, it would be better. I still carry these demons on my back a lot.

I know people who aren't emotional people (and that's ok). They don't dwell on previous feelings or behaviors. I wish I could be that kind of person. I think my emotions make me stronger in some ways though too.

I try to let that shame push me in the direction I want to go. I hate these feelings, I don't want to add to them. I know if I stay sober, the chances of me adding to my already heavy load of shame is less.

Interesting topic!
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh yes I am definitely an empath....it's a blessing and a curse.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What wonderful posts! Thank you!
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh yes I am definitely an empath....it's a blessing
One day at a time. Growth. New ways of looking at things. God/Universe/Great Spirit works in great ways.

For everything that seemed a negative I'm finding new, good, different. I used to "feel" too much that wasn't mine to be feeling. It was very real. It was hard. It often could be overwhelming.

It was part of my journey.

I keep learning new skills and tools to deal with everything in life. This morning I wanted to go talk with a friend I saw nearby. Instead I turned in the opposite direction and took time to stretch and enjoy the feeling of the sun on me. Then a few yoga poses with long holds. Naturally lead into a meditation. Feeling great connections to life, earth and enjoying the vibrations of new moments of this day.

Continued walking, barefoot, through areas of warm grass and then cool shaded grass.

By the time I met up with my friend, I was in a completely different mode. Enjoying life. Spent quite some time visiting together. Letting life flow in new, different ways.

This is a good friend I used to be ashamed to be real with.

My shame is dissolving as I appreciate who I am in this day.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Awesome, Mango. Thx for that.

I have always and still do find music to be a wonderful way to get my mind turned around in better directions....HOWEVER....maybe this is IRONIC....but, sometimes it's the sad songs and even the most mournful tunes that do the trick. I do not know why that is. Listening to, singing and even writing songs that are rather bittersweet have a way of releasing me somehow.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm doing a mindful self-compassion course at the moment and last week we spent the whole evening discussing shame. It's a big topic! Here's some of the stuff I learnt .... it helped me, hopefully it might help someone else.

Shame is different to guilt. Guilt arises when we feel bad about something we've done. Shame arises when we feel bad about who we are. Shame is a universal emotion, we all feel it but it can be more difficult for some of us than others. Shame is likely to be stronger if we experienced harsh criticism, trauma or neglect as a child.

Most of us feel bad about ourselves when things go wrong in our lives. First we have bad feelings and then our experience can progress like this. ..

'I don't like this feeling'
'I wish I didn't have this feeling'
'I shouldn't have this feeling'
'I'm wrong to have this feeling'
'I'm bad'

In this way, we can often move quickly from fear to 'I'm defective'.... from anger to 'I'm a mean person' or from sadness to 'I'm weak'.

This leads to very specific, repetitive thoughts that go through our minds when life gets tough...lingering self-doubts, often from our childhood ... all of which seem perfectly clear and true to us in our most vulnerable moments. These are our negative core beliefs and examples include ... 'I'm bad....unlovable....not good enough....selfish.....useless....pathetic....nasty ...etc'

Our negative core beliefs are the mental component of shame. Shame is maintained by silence. Negative core beliefs hang around for so long because we hide them ... we're scared that we'll be rejected if these aspects of ourselves become known. We forget that other people share these same feelings and this can leave us feeling abnormal and isolated.

When we come to know and recognise our negative core beliefs they lose their power over us and we can free ourselves from the shame that they create. Part of practising self-compassion is reminding ourselves that every human being has strengths and weaknesses, including ourselves. While our internal shaming voice concludes that we are bad, our inner compassionate voice knows that every human being is far too complex to be summed up simply as worthy or unworthy, lovable or unlovable.

I've started thinking over past experiences I feel very ashamed about. It's uncomfortable but I've stayed with the shame and identified the originating negative core belief. For me, it's usually 'I'm worthless'. I then spend a few moments in silence telling myself 'let me know that I have worth..... let me know that I matter'. By doing this, I'm acknowledging the negative belief and challenging it. To be honest, I already feel as though I'm letting go of some of the shame. I still have a long way to go but I refuse to let shame control me. It's a trigger for me so it's important that I deal with it. I'm just taking baby steps at the moment but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction xxx
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think unconditional love and tough love go hand in hand. To truly love somebody means you want the best for them. Sometimes that means being totally honest with them but are always there when they need you, whether they follow your advice or not.
I have a lot of shame from my past. There is nothing I can do about it now. The best I can do now is to learn from it and not repeat the mistakes from the past, and not let it define who I am now. John
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Remember that shame or regret can be a ball and chain to keep us stuck and continue the same cycle. Or it can be used as a catalyst to make ourselves a better person. John
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Remember that shame or regret can be a ball and chain to keep us stuck and continue the same cycle. Or it can be used as a catalyst to make ourselves a better person. John
This.

I agree John. It's a fine line where we can stuck with the pain that drives us back to old habits or instead use the pain as leverage for change.
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