Shame is taught or learned in many ways. The following is not necessarily an exhaustive list. I’m sure there are many more ways that shame develops into self-defeating patterns in our lives. Even if you do not recognize the example as happening in your life, it may occur to you later on as you explore examples that are familiar to you. Shame-based people block out the past because it is so painful. Allow yourself time to explore your past. Universal criticism - It means that nothing I do is good enough. If I get three A’s and one B, then only the B is focused on. When I clean the house, the dust I missed in one corner is focused on. Neglect - You many have known that you are loved, but there was still a sense that something was missing or that something is wrong with you. This can come from lack of physical presence. On an unconscious level it comes from lack of emotional presence even when the physical presence is there. No rules - Children usually celebrate when they have no rules. The unconscious message is that they are not important enough to have rules. When there are no rules, parents do not pay attention to their children. Rules that could not be met - this occurs when rules are unreasonably high or too rigid to be met. The unconscious message is that something is wrong with you. Lack of touch - not to being held is very abusive. When you see your friends being hugged and you aren’t, the only way to understand it is that there must be something wrong with you.
Learn more by reading November 2011 Love in Action Newsletter @ Newsletter Archives