Often when people are looking at healing shame they are encouraged to share in safe places.  However, what that means is worth talking about.

When we have either shame core issues or have shame triggers, you can bet that in all likelihood there was some interpersonal relationship where someone believed they could trust and ended up feeling shamed or betrayed in some way.  We live in a shame based world and many of us carry shame that does not need an external event or person to trigger us.  However, it is hard to live and interact in this world and not have experienced shame from someone.

Much healing can happen individually from reading, journaling, meditation and prayer, retreats, etc.  However, because much of shame happens interpersonally, it is also healed interpersonally.  When I share my shame with another, and I am seen with absolute love and acceptance, amazing healing happens.  That can happen in therapy, both individual and group.  It can also happen with a trusted friend or member of the clergy, or a sponsor.  We just need to make it clear what we are healing and what we need. To ask for someone to listen with non-judgement, no advise, so fix-it ideas, without having to respond verbally, and with absolute attention is what is really helpful.  To tell someone ahead of time what you are doing and what you need is the ultimate of self-care.  It sets the stage for that part of self that feels so defective and raw and certain of rejection to experience the opposite of shame.

If you can think back to a time in your life where you shared something in a way that you felt very vulnerable, and were heard and seen with loving eyes, you most likely experience a deep connection with that person.  It is so deeply healing and peaceful.

So, safety is what helps you experience healing, and peace.  It allows the part that feels so alienated from others to begin to feel a “part of” and “connected to” again.  It feels like a miracle.  In that moment we are “witnessed” as deserving, enough, and lovable.  You deserve this.  Claim it.

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