Shame – Building the Ladder Out of the Pit

To become esteemable people, we have to do esteemable acts

Shame, that dark shadow that lurks in the recesses of our subconscious, is forever gathering information about how worthless, unlovable, undeserving, and how inconsequential we are.

In short, we start to believe these condemning accusations of the judge and jury that have grown louder over time.

So we isolate.   We don’t allow others in.

We end up living in a world that borders on paranoia, in constant fear that if anyone ever knew our real feelings, they would also know how defective we perceive ourselves to be.

This state of mind is the quicksand that can, if left unchecked, pull us into self-loathing or self-abuse.

The pain of these destructive thought processes is addiction, not only alcohol or drugs, but chocolate, ice cream, gambling, shopping, and sex.

Addiction  can be temporary reliefs, relieving the pain and fears of loneliness that accompany our lives filled with shame. We separate from others.

These solutions can work as an escape from the judge and jury for a while, but ultimately they lead to ever more pain. Chocolate and ice cream add on some pounds, and now shame about your appearance increases. Gambling and shopping take their toll on your family’s financial security.   Sexual actions or fantasies separate you even more from your loved ones. Alcohol and drugs can decimate anything and everything they come in contact with.

So how can we start our assault out of the deep chasm of shame?

Willingness to Change

Well, we begin with a willingness to change.  First we have to acknowledge we have a problem.

Shame is so insidious that for many people it is very hard to admit they have it.

But ask yourself this one simple question.   Are there any secrets or embarrassing event(s)  you are hiding from anyone? An honest appraisal should reveal some evidence of our self-denial.

Now that we are on the same page, we can move forward as stated in the beginning of this blog.    To become esteemable people, we have to do esteemable acts. So strap on your self-esteem-building nikes.    By the way, did you know “nike” means “victory” in greek?

Recover and build up

This is going to require growth.   In fact, what we are looking for is incremental growth.   It took us a long time to etch these destructive thoughts into our mind, so it is going to take some time to reframe them.

Here are just some steps to help you recover, to build up those esteemable acts and ultimately become the esteemable people that we were created to be:

  • Setting your Goal

Goal setting is the first of these steps.

If we don’t have anything to work toward in our daily lives, we may find it difficult to feel motivated, challenged, and excited.   If we are not achieving ideals set for ourselves, then we may find it difficult to feel good about ourselves.   If we don’t have something to set our sights on, we may never know what we are capable of attaining.   But when we set goals and work toward reaching them, we learn about our capabilities, our needs, our wants, and our desires.

  • Take Risk

If we don’t learn how to open up to others, it will be hard for us to improve our interactions with others and increase our levels of intimacy.   If we don’t accept certain challenges that come our way, we may never discover our abilities.   And if we don’t risk being vulnerable, we won’t be able to grow.   If we don’t try to reach for the stars every once in a while, we will forever be admiring them from afar.   But when we take risks, we open ourselves up to the possibilities of becoming who we would like to be.    Through risk taking, limitations and fears can be worked through.

  • Opening up to others

If we don’t let others see us for who we really are, it may be hard for us to take risks.   If we don’t share our inner feelings, both good and bad, it may be easy for us to deny or disguise how we really feel.   If we don’t let others see our human qualities, our successes as well as our failures, it may be difficult for us to strive for anything less than perfection.   And if we don’t reveal ourselves to others, it may be difficult to learn how to trust.   When we let others see us for who we really are, it can become easier for us to see ourselves, too.

  • Make Wise Choices

We may end up frustrated if we don’t know how to make decisions that are right for us.

Knowing who to trust and when to trust is part of wise choice making. Knowing how to focus on ourselves and make decisions based on what is right for us is also part of wise choice making.   When we know how to make the right choices, we can become more self-confident and self-nurturing.

  • Share your time

Time, in this case, also includes patience.   We need both time and patience with ourselves and our growth to develop high levels of self-esteem and self-worth.    If we push ourselves too quickly, we may find ourselves stepping backward instead of forward.   If we don’t allow ourselves room to grow, we may find ourselves doing more stagnating than renewing.   When we use time and patience effectively in our lives, we let the passage of time work for us, not against us.

  • Heal

Healing includes our physical health and well-being.   Involving the interaction between our minds and our bodies, healing is there for mind, body, and spirit.

If we are not feeling emotionally well, our bodies will almost always likely suffer. Our emotional outlooks may be negatively affect if our bodies are out of shape and we are not happy with it.

If we don’t have faith in our connections to everything around us, then we will probably lack the determination necessary to feel well and think clearly.

When we learn how to heal our minds and bodies, we are in a much better position to ease some of the self-defeating characteristics that have affected our levels of self-esteem which have been reinforced by our feelings of guilt and shame.

Another aid to effective healing is to use meditation, not medication, to work through some of the difficulties in our lives.   Meditation involves quiet time when we can listen to ourselves and to the spiritual forces outside of ourselves for guidance.   It means quieting the stresses and anxieties within us so that we can let peace and serenity in.   When we are feeling relaxed inside, we are less likely to seek escapes like alcohol or other drugs or other compulsive addicting behaviors.

All of this, combined,  results hopefully in that wonderful state of having integrity.    And integrity is the key to everything because once you have integrity, your life flows so much easier.

You can also take a look at our past blog where we discussed foundational beliefs.   Working on foundational beliefs is a core part of relieving ourselves of shame because it creates a sense of integrity also, that we make our conscious decisions based on beliefs that are foundational to us and so as increase our integrity.

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