I was thinking about shame and how it works (or doesn’t work) for us in our lives. How do you show up in life when you have shame about something? What is shame?
As defined by Merriam Webster, shame is a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt or shortcoming. For me, shame feels like embarrassment. Shame is like the heavy emotion we carry around with us that makes us feel embarrassed, or less than. We tend to keep it hidden and locked up – not willing to discuss it with others. We already judge ourselves so harshly about this thing that we can’t handle others judging us on it too. It is painful enough as it is.
Shame is a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt or shortcoming.
The problem with keeping our shame locked up and hidden is that we never get free from it.
Shame is powerful, and we may not realize its’ effects on how we show up in our lives each and every day. It may show up as a despondent mood. Or not taking action on something we know we should. Shame is a burden that we keep carrying forward. But the pain of addressing the problem is too much – so the problem remains. Unsolved. And potentially growing. The shame can feel like shackles….and we can’t break free.
Only with the willingness to put your shameful thing out there can you really begin to process it and be relieved of the burden.
Something that stays in the dark still has power and can continue to grow. But, by bringing it into the light, we can begin to see it for what it is, and start making the changes we want. Changes that lead to true healing and, ultimately, freedom. New behaviors. New ways of thinking and being. Freedom. Don’t wait any longer. Start the journey today.