First things first, we all have either had shame, or hold a level of shame. So let’s just normalise it first and foremost. It is also my belief that shame is in fact, man made. I believe that the shame that we have carried, or do carry is put on to us from someone else’s (including individuals and society) beliefs, and or expectations of how we should live our life.
And of course, when we need live up to the standards set, and we don’t, then we feel shame.
When we think of shame, we attach meaning to it, for example - I’m bad, I’m disgusting, I’m not good enough, I’m an outsider, I’m alone, I’m embarrassed, I’m dark, I’m unlovable, I’m not worthy of good.
We often believe that by pushing these thoughts, and emotions down, and searching for something outside of us to ‘make it better’ then everything will be ok?! For example - ‘If I live up to societies expectations of what good looks like, then I will feel better. If I work harder, and earn more money, then I will feel better. If I become a strong, badass person, who doesn’t need help from others to do it, then I’ll feel better. If I swallow my past, burry it, and keep busy, then I’ll feel better.
The thing is, none of this works when it comes to shame, absolutely, none of it.
Nothing outside of you will help you move through, past, or over shame. This is an inside job, which means, it’s all on you, which I believe is the most incredible and self empowered thing that you may take from reading this blog today.
When you finally realise that no amount of external success, validation, relationships, money, people, or status will help you master your relationship with shame, you can breathe a HUGE sigh of relief, because the struggle you may have been in for the past x years, can now stop.
I could talk for days on shame, and how my life, and my clients lives changed when they finally understood shame, but in this blog, I want to give you 3 things you need to know about shame, and how you can work with her to live a full, expanded and FREE life.
1 - Shame Separation -
Shame is not separate from you, so something separate from you cannot help heal you. No amount of external success, or validation will give you what you’re looking for. Shame is a feeling, an emotion, and it’s yours, and yours alone. If you want to feel free, then you need to make shame your best friend. Hold her in all of her dark, and get to know what she needs, what her unmet need is. Once you establish the unmet need, you can begin the beautiful journey of meeting this need for yourself.
2 - Get ANGRY!!
Get comfortable with anger, and all of your darker (shadow) emotions. Feel them in their entirety. If you aren’t willing to feel anger or rage, and believe by just switching a negative thought to a positive one, then you’ll be here a while.
Swallowing your emotions, rather than being with them will keep you in a shame spiral. By doing this, you are adding more shame on to the shame you have already. You are labelling your shadow parts as ‘bad’
Be willing to get really honest with ALL of your emotions, without a label being attached to them. It’s not good, or bad, it just is, and rather than being stuck in your story, feel what needs to be felt, then move on.
Did you know that It takes up to 90 seconds for the full emotion to be felt from start to finish, if you allow it.
What keeps us there longer is the story that we stay in & the meaning that we make it.
Feel it, release it, without ANY judgement, then move on.
3 - Shame & Safety = Freedom
Make shame feel safe & create a life with shame as part of it - THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT ONE.
Shame doesn’t feel safe, It feels shame, she want’s to express her shame, her emotions, feelings, fears and everything in between, without more shame being piled on. If you are not accepting what happened, and shaming yourself, then you are feeding shame, and you’ll never feel that sense of belonging, freedom, wholeness, self acceptance that you are searching for.
Underneath shame is fear, and fear needs to feel safe. Regulating your own nervous system every day takes minutes, but it’s a life changer when it comes to working with shame. In doing this, it’s preparing your body to feel safe. This is an essential part of healing shame, and setting yourself free from shame shackles.
When you crack this, shame can move through you without attaching itself to a narrative, or belief.
Working with shame is a practice, and takes patience, self compassion and accepting that you cannot change what happened. But when you have a deeper sense of self awareness, and commitment to doing the inner work, then you have the keys to set yourself free.
When you can not only hold shame but unconditionally love her, then the World, and the people around you respond differently to you.
Your fear of someone knowing your ‘shame’ or judging you, no longer touches the sides. You have fully accepted ALL of you, and whether anyone else does or doesn’t, really doesn’t matter.
Either way, you are FREE.
Have a beautiful week,
Love Jill x
PS - If you are ready to work on your own shadow parts, and return to your own authenticity, then my Empowered Woman 12 week coaching programme starts on the 3rd of November. I only run this coaching programme once a year for 6 Women who are ready to do the inner work that is required to be in your full authenticity and inner freedom.
If this is you, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the word 'Empowered' and we can have a chat.