Shame

“Shame is the warm feeling that washes over us, making us feel small, flawed and never good enough” – Brene Brown 

You know the feeling, you say or do something and you get instant regret, you wish you could hide out for good. You question whether you should be around people at all, every act of kindness you have ever done goes out the window and you are suddenly viewing yourself as a terrible person. <br><br>

Shame is a pervasive feeling, once it is planted within us it grows. Because most of us do not share our shame with others, we hide it. Shame tells us – if you say that to anyone, no one will like you anymore.

The problem with shame? It grows in silence, the more secretive, the more hidden it is – the bigger it grows.

Shame causes us to shut down, literally. In looking at body scans of people in shame response, all of their body is cold outside of their head and heart area. When we are shut down we cannot function in alignment with ourselves. We cannot make the changes we want and in turn we end up making the same mistakes over and over again. 

Many of us believe that shame will cause us to change. Guilt supports change, when it is true guilt. Shame causes us to often repeat the same behavior over and over – continuing to tell us the message that we are not enough. See look, you made the same mistake again. 

The antidote? Empathy and compassion. This is what the therapy setting is all about. Each of our therapists work with shame differently but all are rooted in empathy and compassion. We have all made mistakes, sometimes really big ones that go against who we want to be. We won’t judge you here – we are here to hear your story, give you the empathy and compassion you need to move through the shame. So it no longer holds you down, and keeps you disconnected from the world around you. 

Sound like a breath of fresh air?