It is easy to get stuck in trying to figure out where all this shame comes from. I have worked with countless people who do not have a discernible shaming incident in their background, but feel deep shame about themselves. Why is that?
We live in a SHAME BASED culture. (At least in the United States)
What do I mean by that?
Our culture is steeped in the following:
- 1. Perfectionism
- 2. Blame
- 3. We don’t know our personal rights, choices, and boundaries
- 4. We are very hierarchical
- 5. We base our worth on what we DO
- 6. We spend more time looking at what we “should” do than looking at what fits for us
- 7. There is a level of dishonesty in most interactions
- 8. We don’t know how to truly forgive
- 9. We live from the belief that we are flawed in some way and need to constantly prove ourselves
- 10. We have an external template for most of our roles and feel shame when we don’t match it
- 11. We do not know that the essence of ourselves is truly innocence and love.
Those behaviors are “shame based” behaviors. They reinforce shame as our essence. They are the stew that we grow up in and die in. Unless we see that and completely reverse the way we see ourselves and others in our world, we will remain in shame. That leaves us in a very agitated state. When we reverse that (not an easy task) we feel peace.
More to come…