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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Releasing the Bondage of Shame

A paradigm shift is necessary to begin releasing the bondage of shame. The first step in shifting your paradigm begins when you are able to see the world as benevolent and yourself as worthy. A shame-based person does not see their world is being benevolent because of their experiences that have taught them shame in their life. This may seem to be an overwhelming task considering the condition of our world today. If you don’t see the world as benevolent, then everyone is your enemy. This makes it very hard to get anything good out of this world. This is keeps you in a state of hypervigilence and fear. Secondly, shame-based people need to start taking risks. When taking risks, you may lose something of value. What shame-based people fear losing the most is the little bit of self-esteem they already have. This part of the paradigm shift consists of separating yourself (who you are) from your experience. For example, a failing grade does not mean you are a failure. An offer not being accepted is not a rejection of you as a person. It is simply a rejection of your offer. Shame-based people get their self-worth from performance. Separating yourself worth from your performance can be a difficult task. The third step in this paradigm shift is distinguishing between risks that have potential positive outcomes and those risks that are a setup for failure. Initially you need to begin by not repeating previous failures. Identify patterns of failure.

Learn more by reading December 2011 Love in Action Newsletter @ Newsletter Archives

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Where Does Shame Come From? Part II

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. Physical abuse - this is touch or sexualized behavior that is hurtful and given without compassion. The message again is that there must be something wrong with you. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have happened. Being made responsible for other people’s behavior - this is being responsible for something you have no control over. For example a parent’s drinking problems, siblings destroying things, or conflicts in the family. Blame - Regardless of what is happening, it is your fault. You become a scapegoat. Being expected to know but never taught or given opportunity to learn - The message here is that your mistakes make you a mistake. Because you don’t intuitively know how to do something, there must be something wrong with you. Sibling comparison - comparisons are made on a wide range from being smart, being athletic, being pretty, to being responsible, and many more. Religion - You were told or you defined yourself as evil or a sinner and need penance to be good. This causes you to be shame-based versus grace-based.

Learn more by reading November 2011 Love in Action Newsletter @ Newsletter Archives