Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Shame and Guilt Monsters

Shame and guilt are weapons. Weapons we use on each other. Weapons we use on ourselves. Shame and guilt are not simple emotion. It is a synergistic response, tearing us and others down. It is used as a force to control, to silence and to shut down a person or a group of people. Shame and guilt are the monsters of human individuality and the prison guards of human spirit.

The reason shame and guilt are so monster-size is because we can never truly see the monster we’ve been taught to fear. If the shame and guilt is applied as a result of past action, it can cripple us moving forward. If the shame and guilt is applied because of what we think or how we feel, it can taint everything we do and everything we experience.

We experience our life through all of our senses. When we apply a value judgment on thoughts and feelings, we create a blockage that becomes a continuously-generating concern. These blockages create an abscess inside our subconscious, driving us to work against our own best interest and the true best interest of others. It taints all we see and poisons all we do.

These blockages freeze our awareness. The blockages obstruct our ability to deal with the source of that shame and guilt, the way we feel about ourselves. Certainly, people judge others. More than that, we judge ourselves. Either way is equally unfair. It's also ineffective and unproductive because we cannot control the way people think or feel about us whatsoever.

It’s our obsession with the appearance of our self coupled with the reality that we cannot change what has already been done that creates the destructive potential of shame and guilt. In reality, we can only move forward and alter the way we conduct ourselves. In addition, our view of history is not one based in reality, as that past moment does not exist anywhere outside of our own mind. That past is our attempt at holding onto our view of our self. We either wish to be right, or we beat ourselves up for being wrong; neither is actually the case.

To attempt control strengthens the resolve behind what's driving our shame and guilt. What we would suggest is to not push against the shame or guilt but to thoroughly explore and challenge it. What we suggest is to begin challenging the way we perceive, where perceptions originate and how perceptions shape all that we do and do not do.

If shame and guilt work for us and others, than we should continue that. If shame and guilt do not work for us, maybe we should attempt to find another way to learn and live.

Turning shame and guilt inside out exposes the truth behind each, it’s all about us.

1 comment:

  1. If shame and guilt are based on mistakes or wrong decisions, then shouldn't we be aware that no one escapes either. Therefore, forgiving oneself is necessary because that is the only way for learning, healing, and moving on. Dwelling on shame or guilt is non productive. Therefore, we must allow others to also experience shame and guilt without our judging them. meg