Living with shame

May 24, 2015

Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist Carl Jung describes it as "a soul eating emotion," Author Andreas Eschbach writes "it is like a wound that is never exposed and therefore never heals," what are they talking about?.....They are describing shame.


The fear of judgement
Have you ever considered the power of shame? How it controls us, stops us speaking out, keeps parts of us hidden away, prevents us from being who we truly are. It thrives on our fear of judgement from others, keeps our heads bowed and eyes downcast, the self-protective walls built high. 


Why we feel shame
We may feel shame for different reasons. It may be as a result of our own behaviour, someone may say "shame on you" for a belief or opinion we may have, but what if that shame is not ours to hold? What if that shame is as a result of what has been done to us or because of a situation we have no control over? What if speaking out about something brings shame to our families? What happens then? We keep quiet, what keeps us feeling ashamed remains unspeakable, we become isolated and so its power grows. 


Share the shame, break the cycle
Finding the courage to face and talk about something that we feel ashamed about, whether as a result of our own actions or that of others, is hard, uncomfortable and scary, but in the words of scholar Brene` Brown in her book Daring Greatly, "If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame cannot survive."




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