Tuesday, March 31, 2009

148 - Reducing shames power

In learning how to identify and acknowledge shame out loud we begin to take
away some of its power. We can learn how to identify more of the shame in our
lives and in others by reading shame materials five minutes a day and talking
about it with others with a similar interest.

Monday, March 30, 2009

147 - When hurt--

When you feel hurt by what somebody says to you, remember their message is
about their selves and their unacknowledged feelings including shame, it is
not necessarily about you. Naming the shame allows it to move.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

146 - Criticism is a signal

Feeling critical towards ourselves or others is likely a sign that our shame
has been triggered. We are not to blame and neither are they. We remain
responsible for ourselves, our behavior, our words, our feelings, our shame.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

145 - Shame empathy/contagion

When we are in shame filled environments, this includes people with the
defense of shamelessness, we will empathically feel shame/shamed. Typically
we have imagined this meant there was something wrong with us. We then blamed
ourselves and/or others to no avail. Acknowledging, naming and sharing can help.

Monday, March 23, 2009

144 - Shame article

If you haven't read the shame article on my web site for a while I encourage
you to do so. Not much has changed with the article but it seems to help
people be more grounded in the big picture. Site address is kenlewiscounselor.net

143 - Responsibility vs blame

Many years ago I heard a man say that "Responsibility essentially means
response ability or the ability to respond". I had thought it meant that "it"
was my fault and I would blame myself or the other person etc.. Blaming
ourselves or others is one of the functions of shame, is always a tip that
shame is operating, and it is a barrier to our "ability to respond" and a
barrier to healing shame.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

142 - Stepping toward more freedom

It is likely that the major portion of shame in our lives is unacknowledged,
internalized, carried shame. Every new piece we discover and share is a step
toward more freedom.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

141 - Lack of support brings shame

Shame occurs when we are too alone with our experience. The solution is to
get more support of the kind we need.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

140 - A healing tool

When you feel some shame remember to say (out loud if possible) "Right now I'm
feeling shame." This will allow the shame to move and diminish a little bit
at a time. There is a level of acceptance in this statement that shame
feelings need.

Monday, March 16, 2009

139 - Intimacy as support for healing/repair

Intimacy is the feeling that our "world inside" can be safely exposed and
explored. It includes what we need, what we feel as we talk to each other,
how your responses feel to me, what I imagine your internal state to be, etc..
When our shame memories and feelings come up we need to slow down, approach
them with care and respect and get more support.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

138 - Healing shame and giving support

We need to share our shame with a person or people who can share their own similar shame or consciously access/feel their own shame. As listeners of shared shame it is so easy to distance ourselves from shame by trying to "fix" the other.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

137 - Our need to nurture

As children we sometimes would want to be able to give nurturing to someone
rather than just receiving it ourselves. If these attempts were met with
rejection, ridicule, and shame then as an adult our need to nurture another
will be blocked by shame and fear of shame. This would likely be unconscious.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

136 - How needs and emotions become bound in shame

When a child's primary caregivers are unable to notice, accept, and respond appropriately to any particular need or particular emotion of the child, normal shame helps a child pull back from the need or emotion as protection. If this happens often enough and/or is traumatic enough, the childs need or emotion becomes bound in shame and can be lost to the child.

135 - Externalizing shame feelings

It is useful to learn to discern the difference between shaming thoughts and shame feelings which are bodily sensations. It has been my experience that shame thoughts interfere with the externalization and healing of our shame feelings.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

134 - Not guilty

If you and I had all the information on our selves, including all past
relationships and experiences that have helped to form who we are presently
and our genetic inheritances that have helped form us, we would conclude that
you and I are innocent. Responsible for ourselves and our behavior and not
guilty. And no-one to blame including ourselves.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

133 - Some roles shame plays

Shame plays a significant role in depression and anxiety disorders,
relationship problems, addictions of all kinds including codependency,
bullying, all types of violence including sexual assault, suicide, delinquent
behaviors, and war. In order to heal shame it needs understanding, acceptance
and compassion.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

132 - Shame woven through tapestry of life

In a sense shame is a silent epidemic. It is woven throughout our personal
and collective lives. It affects our self-esteem, self-confidence, self
acceptance, trust in ourselves as well as how we feel and think about others.
In beginning to identify, acknowledge and speak of shame we begin to take away
some of its power.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

131 - Draining the shame "reservoir"

I visualize our internalized shame looking like a large reservoir inside us. When we are able to share these shame feelings with another and feel received by the other person the reservoir begins to drain. As it slowly drains we begin to experience the self-acceptance beneath the reservoir of shame.