When our shame leads the way we can find countless excuses to Not do what we know it is ours to do, or time to do. Shame drops us into a self-defeating behavior and it becomes very difficult in our life to do the healthy, or healing, or positive thing.
I believe that when we are really struggling to do something hard and just can’t seem to succeed, we need to look for the underlying shame and address it directly.
One exercise I do with myself when I am not moving forward in a direction I desire to move is:
1. Claim some space and time where you will not be interrupted. (Put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door).
2. Grab a pile of paper and a pencil. (Do this in writing, not on your computer. It accesses a different part of your brain and is more useful in the long run.)
3. Start writing without lifting your pencil or pausing (flow of consciousness or hot pen) and put down what your shame is telling you. Write: my shame is telling me…. Keep going until you can’t identify one more thing your shame is telling you. (It can get really nasty and seem to go on and on. Get it all out). Then claim the truth a voice of compassion or truth would say to you. You can claim rights (I have the right to my own process, to make a mistake, to claim my truth, to kindness, etc.) or you can claim a truth (Whether I believe it or not, I am a good person, worthy of….). It is imperative to get to a truth or a right. Please do not stop with just what the voice of shame is telling you.
4. Pause and let the truth set in. If you just cannot get to it, this is the time to share with someone who is very trustworthy and let them help you find rights or truths. You can put many of those down as well.
This can be extremely helpful when something is hard or you feel stuck in a self-defeating behavior or thought.