Toxic vs. Healthy Shame

Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

"Your problem is you are too busy holding on to your unworthiness." ~Ram Dass

In my work with people, the best way I can describe them hovering over a worth issue is when they know what it is that they truly desire and want  -  yet they struggle with a hold-back  a block of not being able to experience it and they have no idea why.

The best analogy I heard for this was described by Debbie Ford in one of her books where she said (which I'll paraphrase): The feeling is like being stuck in a glass capsule. On the outside you can see what it is that you desire. You are close enough to almost touch and taste it  - but you're just far enough away to fully grab on and claim it as yours.

Can you relate with this glass capsule feeling in your own life? Where you desire something to change whether it's in your work, your relationship(s) or in how you live  - but you know you're hovering over a worth issue, and aren't really sure what to do with it?

If you can relate, something to consider when it comes to your worthiness challenges is the concept of carried shame.

Carried shame is when you are holding onto to someone else's stuff. It's a feeling of overwhelming responsibility for something that you feel guilty of  - but you aren't sure what you did that was so wrong.

You just know that you don't feel worthy  and that you need to avoid being fully seen and claiming what you truly desire because of this underlying shame that you feel.

Almost always any carried shame began with your family of origin and most likely it all happened unconsciously. It happened as a result of you taking on the shame of a family member (or several family members) because that is your nature to take-on responsibility and blame  - even if it wasn't your fault. You were told - or it was implied - that it was your fault.  

When considering the concept of carried shame and it's potential effect on your awareness of your own deservability, contemplate this statement from Pia Melody on the topic of carried shame and see if it resonates with you  - especially if you feel as if you need to do more to have a sense of value in the world:

"Many of us acknowledge that we are shame-based, and we try to modify our behaviors so that we can have a sense of value. While the effects of carried shame live within us, the origins of shame do not belong to us, and attempting to fix our shame identifies the wrong transmitter. The shame belongs to the original shamers. And it is only by releasing it that we can rid ourselves of carried shame. ~ Pia Melody, The Electricity of Carried Shame article

If you know deep down that you're holding onto shame that isn't yours, re-read the above statement several times and really take in the fact that the origin of the shame doesn't belong to you and it's time to let it go.

Also, it's so important to realize/remember that - shame isn't a negative emotion - it's actually healthy to have shame.   Shame is your moral compass  - it is what keeps you congruent with your own values.  Toxic shame is what is described above - where you took on shame from outside sources and continue to carry it with you.  

In order to truly Claim Your Worth!, let's start with cleaning the slate and starting anew.

This starts with removing any shame or guilt that you're holding onto that has absolutely nothing to do with you.

By removing what doesn't belong, you not only make room for new experiences to come into your life, but you also feel a shift on the inside that simply allows you to feel more worthy and deserving of what you truly desire.

Just imagine if you could lift the burden you may be carrying for something that was never your fault to begin with. Imagine if you could live the life you were designed to live and could let go of anything anyone told you - or implied - about you not being worthy of that life.

You reading this article today is your message that it's your time and it starts with letting go vs. adding on.

Enjoy the process, and remember be very kind to yourself as you contemplate and let go!


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