Lately, I’ve noticed the buzzword ‘shame’ everywhere.
Robert Ohotto talks about it often on his radio show.
Brene Brown writes about it in her books.
And the more I looked around, the more I noticed how we live (and somehow function) in a shame-based society.
Many of us (myself included) grew up with this feeling, as if it was part of our genetic make-up.
I lived in the shadow of my cousin, believing that I was ‘less than’ because I wasn’t like her. This feeling was reinforced in many ways and became part of how I viewed myself. “I wasn’t her, could never be her, so I suck” became my reality. It was a long time before I could differentiate my own skills and gifts from hers and be okay with it.
It’s so insidious and can really, really impact your own joy and satisfaction in the life you create.
And it can be a pretty big effort to transform that shame into an energy that moves you forward rather than holds you back.
Robert Ohotto mentioned something on his show the other night – how much of what we try to change is based in shame.
For example: if you want to lose weight, the feeling that gets you doing something might be “Geez, I look like a pig. What the hell is wrong with me? I can’t fit into any of my clothes and I’m just a pig. No one will want me looking like this.”
Look how shame-filled that diatribe is (and I didn’t have to go far to pull that one out – I’ve said it in my head so many times). Did beating myself up help me lose and maintain that weight loss? No. It just reinforced how crappy I felt about myself. And when you make change from that place of shame, it often doesn’t take hold. (It’s possible, sure, but more likely not.)
Ohotto suggests that the changes we make that are based in worthiness are more likely to succeed. I learned that one when I shifted my desire to lose weight just to feel good in my body. The times I’ve changed my eating based on that rather than “what a pig you are” have been much more successful.
Yet, shame can be a comfortable place for us. It’s been my default for so long and it takes lots of consciousness, desire and willingness to shift it. But it can be done.
It starts with an awareness. Just for today, look at the ways you shame yourself – that voice in your head telling you that you’re crap, that you never do anything right, that you don’t deserve anything good in life because you did something horrible years before and now you must pay for it.
Listen to that voice and see if you can give some compassion and love to it. (Almost as if you’re a parent comforting your child who was bullied at school.) Bring compassion and understanding to the situation first, then see if you can reframe it from a place of worthiness.
Going back to our weight issue – instead of berating yourself because you’re not fitting in your pants, offer yourself some love. Maybe you’ve been eating more than usual to mask your sadness over something. Maybe you feel defeated and eating is the only thing that helps you feel different.
Understanding the situation and what led to it isn’t letting yourself off the hook. (In the same way that forgiving someone’s hurtful behavior isn’t absolving them of the consequences.)
Instead, it’s a healthier way to shed some of the shame associated with it. When you release that shame (bit by bit), it becomes easier to make those long-term changes.
And if you’re having trouble getting past that shame, consider what payoff you’re getting by keeping it around. No one does anything without some sort of payoff (negative OR positive, it doesn’t matter).
One of the things a good intuitive can do is help you locate those blind spots and, with the help of your Guide team, make small tweaks and changes so you’re moving in the right direction, along your soul path.
The Guides are never, ever judgmental – they truly seek to support, uplift and assist you but they won’t blow smoke up your ass. If something big is going on, they’ll tell you and offer suggestions on how to change it. The actions are up to you.
If you’re running into a lot of shame that’s holding you back, book a session with me and let’s bring it to the surface and heal this part of it so you can move on.
There’s no reason to stay stuck and sad. Too much support is available for that. 🙂