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Shame starts early.
Each experience of shame is like hiding little pieces of stinky cheese deep in the consciousness of our true selves. The cheese of shame is always there, slowly rotting, and smelling worse and worse over time. The irony is, even though this shame smell is so powerful, by the time we become adults we’re used to it.
But unconsciously, we’re completely aware of it. Deep down we know we stink, and we act like we know we stink, and we expect other people in our lives to smell this stink and wrinkle their noses at us. To think we are bad. To think we stink. For shame!
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But just because we’ve found the stinky cheese and cleaned it doesn’t mean we’re free of it. That smell was with us a long time, and the feelings it caused will always be with us. The goal of therapy is to become aware of these feelings and learn to accept them but not let them dictate our lives....
Shame is different than guilt. Guilt is the feeling we get when we do something bad, something we know is wrong. It’s something we can fix by doing better next time. We can give ourselves another chance. Shame is much more diabolical. ...
Shame lies at the heart of many of the issues that bring people to therapy. The dictionary definition of shame is “a painful feeling of humiliation or distress cau...
People around us, friends, family, and loved ones don’t smell the cheese anymore. In fact, we might do such a good job searching for the cheese, examining the cheese, talking about the cheese, we might emotionally clean the cheese smell out completely. But the truth is, the smell will always ling...
Times when we feel like we stink, and that other people can smell this, and that other people will know we stink and think less of us, that people in our lives that we love will think we are bad people because we smell. We explore the shameful feelings, and through that process we are able to fin...
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Toxic shame is an emotion that most of us get to know throughout our lifetime: deep inside, we feel that we have failed ourselves or the others.
The actual issue, when this occurs, is that we tend to become defensive and attack the other instead of just accepting our ...
If we want to boost our courage in a particular situation, one of the most effective ways of doing this is to slow down our breathing.
When we’re feeling fearful, our breathing unconsciously becomes faster and shallower. Taking a few deep breaths sends the signal to our minds that everythi...
Introspection is blind to construction. This does not mean that our introspective guesses are never accurate, just as you might guess the correct answer to a multiple-choice question.
When you don’t know the actual facts about yourself, your consciousness pieces together a compelling stor...
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