The emotion of shame can be lethal!
Ok, so a huge statement but negative emotion can be as destructive as acid and as poisonous to our wellbeing as arsenic.
Shame, my dictionary defines as “a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour”
The roots of the word shame are thought to derive from an older word meaning “to cover”; as such, covering oneself, literally or figuratively, is a natural expression of shame (Wikipedia)
Shame can be something someone has done to us or it can be something that we have done to ourselves, which ever the case the emotions attached to Shame are potentially lethal. The danger of Shame, is the damage that the associated emotions can do to us and probably not the act itself.
When we repeatedly churn over in our mind a shameful situation and the emotions of these thoughts, lodge deep down in our subconscious mind, that is when we are potentially putting ourselves in destructive situation. Our emotions are vibrations and if we consistently are giving out these very low level vibrations we will attract the same crap back to us. I am not making light of the situation, I am merely giving it like it is!
The Law of Attraction decrees that like is attracted to like.
The thoughts that we focus upon and give enough emotion to, will manifest themselves in our lives. The important part here is, that thoughts that we want and thoughts we do not want are equally capable of manifesting!
We want to feel good and attract great things back to us not allow ourselves to wallow in pain/Shame for any longer than we need to!
Shame is “the most human, primitive emotional experience “and some thing that we all sometimes feel.
Dr Brene Brown defines shame as
” the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging”
So, why do we get it?
Well, it can be memories we recall that trigger it, or it can be a conscious awareness that we have done something we wish we hadn’t!
It can be something someone has done to us or it can be something that we have done to ourselves, which ever the case the emotions attached to shame are potentially lethal. Shame becomes the damage that the associated emotions do to us and probably not the act itself.
The good news?
We can over come this and start a gorgeously fresh chapter our life.
We must acknowledge that we have this insidious feeling and then take positive action to gently remove it.
There is no point beating up ourselves anymore, but as we are learning, any feelings which are deep routed in in subconscious mind can be changed, if we have the determination to do so.
As Dr Brown says, “shame thrives on secrecy, silence and judgement” once we acknowledge it and bring it out in the open it must die. So we must stop any feelings of guilt (another completely useless emotion- by useless I mean one that serves absolutely no purpose at all- except for self-destruction) and shame and decide to remove them from our mind.
I love Maxwell Malt’s notion of casting off emotional scars, which are “far deeper than any physical scars and harder to remove. They bring on a vicious cycle of negative feelings which never ends- until you resolve to heal the wound. But when you are determined to do this, then you can set about removing the emotional scar.”
We have the choice not to let the emotion of Shame dominate our thoughts and hence our behaviour and results. We must forgive ourselves first -always – and then forgive those who have wronged us. I am not going all evangelical on you here, but as Buddha reputedly said
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
So, to start overcoming emotions of shame
• 1. Acknowledge your feeling of shame- it is ok and in all likelihood someone else created it. It is good to bring it out into the open and tackle it. Control your feelings rather than letting them control you!
• 2 Forgive yourself- always start by forgiving your self – then if you did wrong, make amends with person you wronged.
• 3 Forgive the person who has wronged you – if someone else created the Shame
• 4. Make the conscious decision that you will not allow this emotional scar to any longer be part of your thought pattern.
• 5 Focus on what makes you feel better. Let this “shame” go and part of your past- you don’t need it any longer, it is not serving you.
Dr Joseph Murphy, in his fabulous book, The Power of the Sub Conscious Mind says, that when we make the conscious choice to change and awaken our mental and spiritual powers,
“you know what you want, and you will definitely refuse to let the thieves (thoughts) of hatred, anger, hostility and ill will rob you of your peace, harmony, health and happiness. You cease to become upset by people, condition, news and events by identifying your thoughts immediately with your aim in life….”
So let us remove the power from that emotion of Shame, acknowledge it, but recognise shame as a mere scratch, one that will heal. We must remember that we attract like for like, so once we acknowledge something we don’t want and decide to deal with it, then we must must let it go and stop dwelling on it.
We are spiritual beings and we have the ability to use out intellect to be in control of our thoughts.
Isn’t that magnificent?
We are free to focus on our purpose in life, of living with joy and excitement for what lies ahead of us.
Here is wonderful 5 mixture video of an enlightening conversation between Dr Brene Brown and Oprah.
Shame is Lethal