Hi, and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am glad to see you decided to stop by and visit with me. As a traumatic brain injury survivor, I struggle with a sense of inadequacy at times. At times I listen to messages that seem to challenge me for not being more than I am today. I am encouraged to be more, but for some reason, I simply do not believe I can be more. Innuendos of shame in these messages trigger the notion that I am not enough, I don’t do enough and that I am unlovable. Unconsciously shame seeks to discredit my desire to succeed in life through minimizing my best efforts. Please read my post, Whose Shame are you Carrying?
Shame seeks to keep me distracted by a faulty notion so that I will not achieve my creative potential.
As a person with an invisible disability, I allowed the message of shame to bully me for many years. The shame bully controlled and manipulated my every move. Shame told me that my good was never good enough. Although I attempted to appease the bully, I seldom believed that my good was ever good enough. Consequently, my self-esteem, self-worth, and self-image were constantly undermined. In my struggle to prevent the bully from attacking my value as a person, I expended huge amounts of emotional, physical and spiritual resources.
Through my process of healing from the effects of shame I found that the voice of perfectionism – your good is never good enough — to be a cruel taskmaster. My ability to heal and grow emotionally, spiritually and physically was stymied by the demands of unrealistic expectations. Over time I recognized that my internal energy was being diverted away from developing my creative capacity in order to avoid being attacked by the bully. Through recognizing how shame was draining my life I was motivated to look for solutions. These solutions enabled me to slowly heal on a spiritual, emotional and physical level.
In my experience, I had to begin healing from the effects of shame before I could hope to live life on life’s terms. As I mentioned above, I still am susceptible to the message that shame wants to exploit. The good news is that I no longer need to be held hostage by the bully. I no longer need to internalize the lie that I am not enough. Through accepting that my circumstances are not meant to keep me down, I am encouraged to look for solutions. Although shame may want to bully me I no longer need to pay attention to its taunts. I am released from the grasp of the bully through learning to be empowered through my circumstances, experiences and opportunities.
Guilt is different than shame. If you made a mistake you can make an amends and thus resolve guilt. Shame, on the other hand, is a being wound which leads the person to believe that they just don’t make mistakes, but that they are a mistake. The tendency to over achieve and develop a sense of grandiosity or to underachieve and develop a sense of helplessness is often a response observed in people who have been bullied by shame. Being bullied by shame can lead to a learned helplessness, which in turn undermines the individual’s potential to pursue their destiny.
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