90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 12 – The Layers of Shame

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 12: The Layers of Shame

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”

-Brené Brown

We have spent from Day 7 until today on shame. We have looked at the subject of shame on a variety of levels essential to our understanding of shame’s position in our lives. Now, we go into the layers of shame. Facing our shame and releasing it is NOT a linear journey where we go from A to B and we are done. We are going to go through the whole alphabet and it won’t be in any kind of specific order.

The layers of shame come with generation after generation of belief systems that we have bought into telling us we aren’t enough. There is so much undoing that this process takes time. Each time we become aware of our shame, in order to heal it, we have to figure out the belief system that got us believing that way in the first place. Then we have to be aware enough to know that every belief system is just a perception of truth, which many of us like to fight tooth and nail. We have to see the possibilities in other perceptions of truth. Finally the belief system will lose it’s hold on the way we are living in the moment. The beauty of the layers coming off is that we not only accepting ourselves more and more—We accept others for being who they are. Our compassion and love increase exponentially.

However, that doesn’t mean that some event or person down the line won’t test how strong we hold our new belief. Some of us will call this a setback, but it’s not. It’s just another opportunity to go deeper down and work out the roots of this belief. Think of it as those smothering vines. We can’t just clip them to get them to stop growing. We have to dig up the roots in order for them to stop causing damage.

Dealing with shame will continue to come up throughout our journeys. We will think we have dealt with our crap, and all the sudden a new lesson will be right there to meet us. The good news is, the more we are honest with ourselves about these human thoughts, beliefs, feelings, reactions, and actions the faster we will learn the lesson from it. Our shame from our pasts won’t have the ability to affect our lives like it did before.

The key to facing the layers as we move on is to not add to them by self-abusing because we aren’t where we want to be or we feel like we really messed up. A perception that helps me to keep going is that life is a classroom. When I’m finished with the lessons I’m meant to learn here, I will move on. This perception keeps me from awe-fulizing situations to the point I make them into a reason to give up. It also helps me be more accepting of whatever comes next. Another perception I changed was when I feel a downward spiral coming I say, I’m ready for another breakthrough. This keeps me from engaging in beliefs that would make me freeze like I’m hitting an emotional bottom or I’m having a breakdown. I used to feel the shame of feeling not enough when I had those thoughts. They made me want to go run to my cave and not come out.

I wasn’t always the person I am now. I have a past just like everyone else; mine was actually a pretty wild one. My actions have caused people to feel pain and I’ve felt hurt by plenty of other people’s actions too. What I realized is that shame was behind many of my misguided ways.  My feeling of lack contributed to me chasing things and people that weren’t good for me. I experimented with highs to cover the pain. I was self-centered and selfish while I was consumed in living in my shame.

Each thing I’ve experienced was a necessary piece of my journey, even being raped, molested, and verbally abused along with losing important people in my life, had their lessons to teach me. If it weren’t for my hardest lessons, I wouldn’t have seen the power of shame and what believing its messages did to my identity. When I learned the lesson about being as sick as the people I was continuing to have relationships with (revealed earlier in the series), I dove deep and fast into facing my shame. I read book after book on shame and codependency, because I found the two played off one another. I did the work! I got in the mirror and got honest. Even with years of working on my shame to the point I am now, feeling free at this moment, I know the next layer will come. It was this part of my journey that I put together my own personal boot camp. It’s how I know my 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP can and will work for people who do the work.

The layers will be exposed, as we are ready to face them. If we continue in patterns where we actively live in our shame, we will actively be apart of the shame cycle. We will hurt ourselves and others until we are ready to look at ourselves honestly. Even if we don’t share the fear, hate, and judgment out loud, we are still carrying the shame with us, we are just continuing to suppress it. I promise you, it’s leaking out and it will be what keeps you from the life you really want to be living.

I find it is important to have a person to share our humanness with in these kinds of situations. If we don’t have a person who we truly trust not to engage us in these shameful thoughts, or to use them against us; than writing it out is a great tool. Whatever you do, be gentle with yourself. I also have the 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP if you’re ready to dive into the work to free yourself from shameful living.

None of us are perfect! Each person does the best with what they have. The ones who are struggling the most with shame are the ones who are out there hurting themselves and others. They don’t hurt people because they like what is going on inside of them. They are in an internal conflict and they act it out externally. Just like we are when we do it. Shame is the most unstable part of our foundations. This is one of the areas that will take the longest to clean up, but it is possible. Just don’t give up and don’t hold it in.

Just for Today

Write a letter to yourself as a contract to become aware of your shame. Commit to being ready to learn from how you’ve lived in your past and be open to see how your past has kept you in the shame cycle with your reality now. Read 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 12 – Learning from My Layers of Shame for the companion piece to give you inspiration to write your own letter.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Are you ready to dive into BLAME? Read tomorrow’s post and take the next step in our journey to clean up our unstable foundations and uncover the blocks that keep us from living a love-filled and love-projecting life.

Don’t forget to scroll down and follow the 90-Day A Better Me Series if you haven’t already. I look forward to seeing you back tomorrow.

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 11 – Projecting Shame

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 11: Projecting Shame

“Shame erodes our courage and fuels our disengagement.”

-Brené Brown

 

Yesterday, we went through a list of ways we live in our shame. Most of them focused mainly on how choices and beliefs of living in our own shame affect how we live our lives. Today, we will go deeper into how shame gets projected to the world.

Shame is everywhere! Anytime advertising aims at people’s disapproval of themselves, they are aiming at the shame within. History proves individuals striving for a better life, way of living, and personal outlook will lead individuals to spend tons of money on trying to fix their insides by buying something to improve themselves or their life outside. Even though time and time again these things fail, we keep buying to try to avoid having to take a closer look inside to see how we are feeling about ourselves and why we are peaceful in this moment with who we are.

Our shame projects out and it gives the media, advertisers, products, programs, lifestyles, and money the power over our internal happiness and contentment. Is this any of these thing’s or people’s faults? NO! Our belief systems about what we are doing, seeing, wanting to change, and longing for are our own responsibility to look at. It is up to us to check-in with ourselves and ask ourselves why we are feeling driven to buy or seek satisfaction from life outside of us. Just think of it as a lesson. Don’t try to make it a personal attack on you as a consumer. We only buy into what we already believe.

If we believe money is bad

Money will keep itself away from us and/or cause us pain. Not because money is bad, but because our thoughts about money are bad. Why do we hate money’s affect on us? What kinds of decisions are we making with money to hate it? Are we expecting money to fill a void inside of us that comes from shame? It’s a choice to have a bad relationship with money. We project out that money is bad and we will be proven right. We actually are shaming money by continuing this relationship.

If we are shaming someone or something, we are shaming ourselves too.

If we believe something outside of us can make us happy

We are projecting out that we incapable of being happy otherwise. If we can’t be happy inside, it doesn’t matter what we have on the outside, we will project our inner shame and sabotage anything we attain from the outside world.

Take relationships as an example. If we believe a relationship can make us happy, or the person we are having the relationship with can make us happy, we are saying we aren’t happy without them. Think about the pressure we can put on a person or a relationship if we believe this belief. We start sabotaging the relationship by getting clingy, jealous, needy, suspicious, demanding, blaming, judgmental, etc. If our own personal worth and value is low enough we will try to get them to love us the way that we want to be loved instead of seeing the love they are capable of giving. We try to force them to be the way we think a happy relationship SHOULD be. We project our vision of happily ever after on them. We don’t even see the person in front of us, we see the illusion of the happily ever after that we created in our heads and we keep getting let down by the outcome. The relationship dies or turns into a nightmare and we use that to fuel our shame. Projecting our shame will destroy a relationship. It doesn’t matter if it’s romantic, friends, co-workers, or family. If we don’t accept ourselves, we won’t accept others, and the cycle of shame continues.

As we’ve grown as a society we’ve accepted programming to shame and be shamed. Shaming is going on every day. The little pieces of us that believe that we are supposed to be perfect eat the shaming up with a spoon. We even project our shame out by spewing it at other people for not living up to our expectation of you name it, a role-model, mother, father, husband, wife, sister, brother, citizen, politician, political party, religious group, ethnic group, gay person, straight person, white person, black person, foreigner, and we can go on and on. If you are spewing fear and hate, you are projecting our global society’s darkest weapon of mass destruction. SHAME!

We are shaming to try to make someone or something else feel small. We only do this when we feel small ourselves and are trying to make ourselves feel better by taking someone or something down with us. The Law of Attraction says we get more of what we project out…Do you see how this can be used as weapon of mass destruction? If our focus is on the worst in people, we bring out more of it. We create more fear and like the woman I talked about personally attacking me on Day 5, she tried shaming me as a parent and taking me down to a small level. For a little bit, her projected shame had a negative affect on me. If I didn’t have the experience I do, that event could have taken me down and kept me down. Carrying that much anger, fear, and rage is only fueling the shame within us, which depletes our loving energy.

We are capable of shifting our own energy away from this vicious shame cycle. We can focus on projecting love instead. This is the difference in representing what we stand for instead of what we are against. It is so easy to fall into the energy of what we are against, we can’t watch the news, political campaigns, social media feeds without seeing what people are against. We have to stay centered in what we are for, and the only way we can do that without trying to make someone else feel small is by embracing our own humanness and accepting and loving ourselves exactly as we are. Otherwise, we will at some point or other fall into the grips of projecting our shame instead of what most of us are truly intending to do, which is projecting our love and compassion.

We aren’t capable of forcing others to face their shame, fear, hate, or any other harmful beliefs. We can choose not to feed our own. It’s a choice each of us has to make EVERY SINGLE DAY. We operate so much on autopilot and have picked up beliefs that we aren’t even aware of by being exposed to the programming over and over again. If we don’t want to keep our own cycle of shame going and contributing to all the shame in the world, we have to face it head on and prove it wrong, not to anyone else, just to you. As you see your self-shaming ways dissipate by simply being aware, you will notice AMAZING shifts around you. You will start spotting more and more to like, appreciate, and enjoy about living your life. Once again, it’s the Law of Attraction, we get more of what we put out. Telling the world we love ourselves, and having expectations of something coming back to us because of it can’t fool the Law of Attraction. We have to truly and deeply feel that love for ourselves, and from there we will attract more to love.

When we get there is when we start focusing our attention on the things that matter, which is what we want to see more of. The heroes are the priority over the people causing others harm. We start seeing the difference in giving a person our love for the good choices they make instead of feeding the shame in the world by bringing the attention to those who are living in their own shame. If we contribute to someone else’s shame, we are making it worse for ourselves, them, and for the world because we are taking part in keeping the shame cycle alive. None of us are perfect and even if we do our best not to contribute, we will sometime fail. It’s in those moments we need to stay open, learn from our failures, and just keep attempting to do better next time. No need for self-abuse, just take responsibility and learn.

Just for Today

Be aware when you see your shame or others being projected. See that if it is someone else’s shame, we don’t have to take it personally. We don’t HAVE to feel attacked by someone else’s choices in how they are choosing to live their life. Just be aware of the choice.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 11 – My Participation in the Shame Cycle

Reading the letter can help us to take in the material in a more personal way. Writing our own letters becomes a contract we make with ourselves as a commitment to be and do better.

 

How is Your Story Serving You?

As humans we love our stories, but remember our stories are our perceptions based on what we are focusing on. You and I could experience the same thing and see it differently. We could have completely different feelings and reactions to the event. In order to get the most out of our lives, our stories and perceptions need to line up with the life we want. If they don’t, we will get stuck in your own darkness. The only way to get out is by seeing our story in a new and better way.

We are the lead character in the story of our life, and we need to treat ourselves that way. We choose in every story we tell to be the heroine/ hero, victim, wallflower, and/or villain. Our power lies within how we see ourselves. What are we contributing to the world? How will our stories matter and/or serve humanity for the better? Do our stories bring meaning to our lives and the lives of those around us?

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If we are struggling, we can choose to look at the situation as a lesson. We can ask ourselves questions: What can I learn from being here? How would experiencing this help me serve others? How is the way I’m viewing myself effecting how other people treat me? Do I treat myself with love and respect? How am I working towards the life I want to have? Thinking in these terms can open more doors and offer new stories that don’t keep us stuck but instead help us find a creative way to move out of our own darkness and into the spotlight.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff @2018