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Shame

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Last week we were talking about guilt, how this can cause compounded worries and anxiety, over time it can infiltrate how we feel right to the core of who we are.  Guilt is how we feel about other people and the things we have experienced and the feelings we can carry over what has happened. Shame is an internal emotional and is grown over time from continuous rumination and worry, like as the say the devil on your shoulder or the poison parrot whispering these negative thoughts into your ear. These whispers grow over time as we feed ourselves with the thoughts of why did it happen, it must be us that made it happen, we are to blame. The shame can bubble up within us, at times it is linked to guilt and other times we can feel shame about what we have done and not any feel any guilt towards others whatsoever.  Lets. first look at the shame that comes from guilt, something has happened and we can’t let it go, we are stuck with the record on repeat. There are no answers to many things in life, and if this is the case, the guilt over time can lead to shame. The natural instinct is to find the solution to why this has happened so we can protect ourselves from it happening again, if we can’t then we often move into the firing line.

Ice

At this point we are at a cross roads in our mind, we can choose to blame ourselves and move from guilt to shame over what we have done. We could also choose to blame someone else and then we may often move into anger over why they did this and why no one or even us stopped this. This again can lead to shame, as we then continue to over think the reasons we didn’t stop this, it can then at times leads us back to the fact that we are in some way responsible, up comes the ugly head of shame. Or we can work things through and take the path of peace, like a positive submission of the things we can’t change, learn from it and move on. The last option is the best one, but if we can’t find the way to this path we can be left with the shame of how we should have done something different. This inner dialogue, like the poison parrot on our shoulder, displaces the true thoughts and sends the message of shame out into our everyday life. The feelings leave us with the feeling of being rotten inside, just like the guilt, but then it can also lead us to feel debilitated in our ability to like or love ourselves for who we are.  We can then become the person that is always taking the blame because we feel ashamed of who we are, so of course we are always then pointing the finger of blame at ourselves. This is a toxic life to lead, it can make us underachieve in many areas of our lives, making us over-give and over do things. This is draining, trying to prove ourselves, we feel we need to do this to feel better about who we are, and to prove to all these people we’re not this shameful person. The thing is people who know and love us, know this already and most of them don’t want us to keep trying so hard, they would be much happier if we relaxed and just were able to be ourselves. The person we need to prove this too is not others it’s ourselves, but we are often driven to find a way so we don’t feel this shame. The only way, is to go back to what happened, find acceptance and then choose to follow the path of peace and acceptance, then learning to stop listening to that poison parrot on your shoulder.

The other type of shame is much more personally based and can be held by people who are struggling with addictions to food, alcohol and drugs. The person can feel an enormous amount of shame over say being overweight, this can then feed the cycle of self-blame, shame and low self-esteem.  This cycle is very internal and often can’t be broken with other people’s external validation, because this cycle has so deeply attached itself to the core of who we are. This can become a hamster wheel of an issue, we feel ashamed of our weight, we beat ourselves up over this making ourselves feel even worse, pushing us to then self-harm and sabotage ourselves with food, then the cycle just begins again. For many people, shame is one of the root causes of why they struggle to let go of the addictions they are holding and why even if they do really well they often fall off the wagon and sabotage their progress. Many programmes to help us with these addictions don’t actually look at the core issues, such as shame when trying to help us make life long changes. If this sounds familiar to you then it’s time to stop chasing the latest diet or solution and start to fix this issue of shame embedded to the core of who you are. We need to work on learning to love ourselves for who we are and treat ourselves in the way we truly deserve. Many things happen in life, we don’t have a manual or a map to direct us in the right way to find the best solution. It’s important to accept this and cut ourselves some slack, if we don’t want to be stuck with the eating issues or addictions it’s a key thing to do.

laughing

Work on finding the peace you need to accept and let go of what has triggered the shame or if it is more circumstantial like weight or addictions, you have to just accept where you are, at the moment.  It’s now time to start putting positive things into ourselves, make up an affirmation and read it several times every day, maybe it’s that, we let go of the past and we love and value who we are, pick the words that work for you. Then start to find new hobbies that help you grow in confidence, join a night school class, start a new hobby or a sports /activity group.  Don’t set the bar too high or you will just continue the cycle of failure, smalls steps are better than big strides forward.  It really doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s your choice and you would like to try it, just be aware though, we sometimes we don’t always hit the bulls eye first time around. So, if it doesn’t suit you or you don’t like it, no problem try something else until you find something you do enjoy. Use the new hobby as a fresh start and work on approaching things with a new level of self-belief, remember confidence doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time to stop listening to the poison parrot whispering in your ear. Confidence is a learned and developed habit so the more you do something the more your confidence will grow, don’t expect too much of yourself in the beginning and give it time to grow. Work to keep busier so that you can stop listening to that poison parrot, start this new chapter by being kind to yourself, starting the processes of loving who you truly are.

Thanks for dropping by Sara x

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