has shame impacted your life and the way you feel about yourself?
Although we don’t often talk about shame, and
particularly our own shame, shame is an emotion we all experience.
The words shame and guilt are used regularly and often people
seem to use them interchangeably. But shame is not
a more intense feeling of guilt. Guilt is the feeling we get
when we have done something that goes against our morals and
values. It is an emotional reaction to a behavior.
But when we feel shame, it is not that we have done something
bad, but that we are bad. Shame is not about what
we have done but rather who we are: the intense feeling
that we are unworthy, undeserving, inadequate, filth, unlovable,
failures, self contempt and that we are flawed.
generally originated from experiences when you were young;
wanting to be liked and wanting to fit in. Little by little
you changed the essence of who you were in order to be accepted.
We all can remember times when we felt diminished, rejected
or unworthy. Our parents, siblings, friends, teachers all
dictated what was acceptable and what was not. Acts of violence
against us also damage our core spirit. There is an epidemic
of violence in our society today: bullying, character assignation,
domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional
abuse and neglect. Each of these profoundly impact the way
we view ourselves, especially as we compare ourselves to others.
We have a very human need to belong, to relate, to connect
and to believe that we are valued for whom we are. The feeling
of shame keeps us silent. We lose our voice and keep our secrets
for fear of the disconnection from others. We are afraid we
will not be accepted, loved or valued.
about shame reduces the effects and power that shame has over
us. But, more often, our feelings of shame are hidden,
and seem to grow in the dark. We trip into our feelings of
shame and hold onto them tightly, even when someone else isn’t
currently shaming us. Shame is a way to disconnect from relationships,
not wanting other’s to get to close to you, for fear
they might see the real you. However, if you can find someone
you trust to reveal the shame that you feel about yourself,
it can change the way you view yourself and draws people closer
to you. It does take courage to talk to someone
about issues of the heart, who we are and about our experiences,
good and bad.
connection is about mutual support, acceptance and caring.
Working through your shame requires you to talk about the
ways you have experienced and felt shamed. But it doesn’t
end there. Healing comes from learning to feel compassion
and empathy for yourself. When you share your difficult experience(s)
that brought the feelings of shame, with someone who responds
in a deeply caring and compassionate way, it takes the power
out of the shame. Healing from shame and its complexities
is nearly impossible to do without the presence of another.
You are not alone. I have a heartfelt desire to work
with women who experience shame.
you to call me at 303-514-4732 for a free consultation.