Part I: A Journey of Awareness
What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation
Day 7: The Unstable Foundation of Shame
“Shame is the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging.”
Most of us have no idea that depth of our shame, which is why the houses we build are so unstable. Shame is what we carry around telling the world we don’t deserve to be here. Sometimes we are so good at hiding our shame we don’t recognize it. Shame sneaks into our lives and whispers to us as we make receive compliments from others if we don’t feel worthy of the acclaim. Shame yells at us when we are accepting unacceptable behavior telling us that is what we deserve for being who we are. Shame is what sits with us when we are making decisions out of fear of not being accepted. Shame is holding us hostage when we freeze in our addictions.
“The difference between shame and guilt is the difference between ‘I am bad’ and ‘I did something bad.”
Over the next six days we will be tackling the topic of shame, and it still will only scratch the surface of it’s power. If we truly want to be better and live better—
We HAVE to face our own shame. If we don’t, we will continue to repeat the same unhealthy patterns over and over again. Shame is one of the most dangerous prongs in our unstable foundation. It lives in our deepest layers of our humanity.
Addictions stem from shame. Even what could like positive addiction to the outside world could carry a level of shame that taints our soil. Shame is sneaky and conniving. Until we face shame head on, it will control our lives. Shame will be in every relationship, interaction with strangers, conversation we have in our heads, and will eat us up from the insides.
Shame can even sneak in when we are serving others. This could be our families, friends, romantic relationships, religious practices, spiritual services, communities, and/or the world. It is not about the act, it is about what lies in our reasoning for doing the act.
Our human thinking can be skewed. We sometimes will wish we didn’t feel the way we do/did. Horrible thoughts that can be selfish, greedy, resentful, and judgmental sneak in and start unraveling our foundation. Shame is easy to keep alive within us because our world is corrupted by shame. I can say this because shame sells. If shame weren’t so prevalent in the world, gossip magazines wouldn’t sell. Media would have a different focus. Elections wouldn’t be fueled on bashing and shaming their opponents. Shaming others wouldn’t be acceptable by the masses.
Each one of us has the power to change this by not contributing to the shame cycle. The mistake so many of us make though is we try to fix it in the world before we fix it in ourselves. Today, we are a step in the process of looking inward.
It is amazing how many lessons there are to learn when we take our blinders off and open our eyes. We may not like what we see, but the lessons are priceless and in the end will lead to something better, and if it is not better, it’s not the end.
Just for Today
Become aware of how the feeling of unworthiness has affected your decision-making process. Do you do for others what they cando for themselves? Why? Look inside to see if it’s because you want someone else to feel something about you and/or it’s because you want to feel something about you. Are you trying to measure up to being a worthy human? These are just things to investigate that might help you find some hidden shame.
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff © 2019
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