Ken Donaldson: Are You Feeling Ashamed About Feeling Ashamed?
Are You Feeling Ashamed About Feeling Ashamed?
Yikes! How does one win?
But what does “ashamed” really mean?
Let’s go to the dictionary…
1. Feeling shame or guilt: Are you ashamed for having lied?
2. Feeling inferior, inadequate, or embarrassed: Ashamed of my torn coat.
3. Reluctant through fear of humiliation or shame: Ashamed to ask for help.
Well, that explains that, after all, who want to feel any of that?!!
But here’s the problem: That doesn’t make those feelings go away.
Nope…ignoring any emotional state just simply buries the emotion in the pile of denial, which isn’t really burying it at all. It is still alive and very well under the surface, ready to kick up its ugly head whenever the opportunity lends itself.
And for many people, that pile has become quite large due to the difficulty with expressing many (and most) emotions.
But here’s the core challenge with feeling ashamed: Feeling ashamed usually takes us to the core of “who we are.”
In other words, we feel ashamed for who we are versus feeling guilty for something we’ve done.
It’s much more personal and usually isn’t pretty.
Feeling ashamed usually sounds like the following:
“I’m no good.”
“I’m a failure.”
“I’m a loser.”
“I’m a piece of crap.”
Get the idea?
So who would want to talk about this feeling, much less acknowledge that it even exists?
But that doesn’t make it go away…denial never does.
Like all other emotional states, you have to “feel it to heal it” but don’t let that scare you off.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help tune in:
- What is it that you feel ashamed about?
- How old do you feel when you tap into it?
- What does it remind you of?
- What old messages come up when you feel this feeling?
Next, it’s time to release it. After all, it’s done and over and it’s now time to move on.
Get ready to write down what you feel ashamed about but as you begin to write it, imagine a child is sitting there with you and this child is now doing the writing.
Imagine how you’d respond to that child and what that child just wrote.
And, of course, the love.
Imagine giving that child all of this and more.
Imagine, then, how it would feel to be that child…to be on the receiving end of support, care, understanding, empathy, acceptance, encouragement and love.
The fifty million dollar question is: And how can you treat yourself that way every day in every way?
Part of the “secret”, which isn’t really a secret, is to get this message deep into your subconscious mind.
The easiest and most effective way to do that is by using positive emotionally charged imagery.
You can’t miss using the “little child” approach.
When you do this, you give yourself all the positive experiences you’ve needed to get past feeling ashamed.
Of course, repeat as often as necessary and see a therapist if you can’t seem to get past it.
There’s no more need to feel ashamed about feeling ashamed.
Celebrate your freedom now!
Be happy…after all, “happy” is (according, again, to online sources) the opposite of ashamed.