Shame drains energy. Lethargy, apathy, tiredness, not wanting to get up in the morning, headaches, migraines – anxiety, fear and worry take up lots of energy! It doesn’t just stop there – keeping emotional conflicts pushed deep down can result in digestion issues, eating disorders, addictions, skin disorders and many more ailments. I’ll even show you how shame caused Crohn’s disease.
When I was in my early twenties, I remember seeing an ad in the Metro newspaper on a train, which I never forgot. It showed something which stuck in my head, like it had some unconscious cosmic significance.
Or maybe it just scared the shit out of me.
The first task to building shame resilience is becoming aware, as best as you can, of the feelings of shame that you do have. Its harder than it sounds because shame mostly works at an unconscious level. You have to become a bit of a mind detective and work backwards.
Infancy is a minefield of shame stimuli. Your impressionable mind is a sponge for meaning – and invents meanings for things all the time, even if it means that you’re to blame for something that’s not your fault. Which is often convenient for the shame-ridden adults.
Before you even get a chance to know who you are, you’ve been set up with a lot of “don’t be this – don’t do that” shame triggers. “Confident people are arrogant!” “Don’t talk!” “Relaxing is laziness!” Thanks again, childhood programming! I’ll share some examples of common shame-zoned traits.