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VIII. Shame is a core experience that keeps us trapped.

Shame is an amazing tool for controlling others. As the recipient of this kind of control, shame is devastating to carry around and will hamstring you at every possible moment. Brene Brown’s work is a great place to start for support with this part of the journey. You are ok. You are here. You have the right to be here in the exact body that you have because that is what is. Here you are. In this body.

Shame would have you believe that you are fundamentally flawed with no possible recourse to redemption of any kind. Shame is exhausting. Begin unpicking the hold that shame has on you. You are fundamentally ok. You don’t have to do anything to deserve being here in your body exactly as it is. And if your immediate reaction is to not believe these statements, then this is a good place to begin your self work.

Shame feels shitty to wield over others as well. It’s possible to get someone to do what you want them to if you use shame. But it doesn’t feel good for them or for you. You want your kid to clean up their room, and they won’t. Instead of listening to their needs in that moment, or getting down on the floor with them to help, you tell them that they’re lazy and a slob and worthless and they’ll never amount to anything. There’s a chance that they will now do what you want and clean up. There’s also a very good chance they’ll be seething with resentment or lying in a puddle of abject self-judgment, having believed these things that you said about them.

Learn the shape of shame for yourself and others so that we, collectively, get to experience connection and expansion, not the contraction that comes from shame.

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