The Toxic Emotion of Shame!

The last topic in this four part series is about Shame. Shame serves no good purpose. Shame is very different than guilt. No longer is one focusing on a behavior, shame is when you tell yourself that you are bad, defective and simply no good. Shame is turned inward as a negative emotional self- berating. Shame makes guilt and regret very complicated and difficult to overcome. When you are enmeshed in your shame you are no longer able to focus on a behavior or loss you are experiencing. Instead you are turning that shame unto yourself and focusing on the fact that you feel defective at the core of your being. Someone who feels shame knows how hurtful and debilitating it is.

It is my understanding that shame usually originates from earlier life experiences. Often this occurs in the younger stages of development, hence why it seems so true to your core beliefs. Shame is a learned response one formed in their impressionable years. So shame tends to have such negative impact on you because it is not about the here and now, but was formed in the then and there.

If shame is something you feel often, I strongly encourage you to address the issues on a conscious level. When you bring this toxic feeling to your awareness, then you have the opportunity to begin to heal it. If you keep this at the subconscious level then you can’t change. Often you will need to work with a professional to change this level of injury.

If you are able to identify shame and bring it to your awareness then you are beginning to take responsibility of healing and correcting these incorrect messages you have learned. My encouragement is as you begin to identify the shame then you start initiating some cognitive corrections. Even though at a deep level you may still believe the shame message, start creating corrections; corrections are what you would prefer to tell yourself. In the beginning you don’t have to believe them, you just need to practice saying them anyway.

Some examples of corrections are “I am not perfect and that is ok;” “I know my intentions are good;” “I am a person of value.” These are just some examples. Just taking the time to think of some corrections is a huge start in the battle of minimizing that shame voice within. You didn’t come out of the womb with these shameful feelings, so in a way you took them on via important people in your life. Even though you took these believes on at a subconscious level you did have a part in it. To me that suggests you can have a conscious part in correcting them and learning different core beliefs about yourself!