Why Shame Can Hijack a Life
Shame is a painful experience.
Shame is when you want the ground to swallow you up, you can’t look at people in the eye, you feel frozen, you have self-talk going round and round, or you feel humiliated. It is the sense of being defective at one’s core.
We all have shame to varying degrees. We can do all sorts of things to not feel this shame. We may run addictions to cover up our shame
Shame signifies a rupture from the self. If we do not have shame we actually feel self empathy and are on our side and in our own skin.
We can take so many twists and turns to not know our shame that our life’s path is set way off course. We can develop all sorts of strategies and each one of them pulls us a little more off track. We may focus on things in minute detail to distract ourselves, we may become a perfectionist trying to never make a mistake since this would put us in touch with our sense of shame about ourselves. We may never take any risks incase our shame gets triggered by failure and we may never open up to people because we believe that the real us is defective and flawed somehow and would be rejected. Pretty soon our authentic self with its authentic path is drowned out by all the strategies.
Perhaps we all feel like this to some extent or other. Are we all playing the same game of hiding. When we begin to risk allowing shame in and being honest about it we can begin to build real relationships with other people. When we practice self empathy and out of this develop also our empathy for others we begin to have heart based rather than shame based relationships. We begin to reclaim our lives.