May 22, 2018

One Man's Journey of Healing Shame - Part 3

This week, Dolan continues his series and explores how we can make shame our friend.


What? Dolan are you crazy? Why would I make shame my friend? Shame is so painful. It doesn’t have anything constructive to say. I hear you. But hang on, hear me out on this. Yes shame is painful. It hurts. But shame has more to offer you than just pain.

Shame has the ability to direct you to where your heart needs healing. The trick is to move past what shame is telling you and look to what’s driving it. Often times what’s driving shame is a truth that you don’t know about yourself.

For example, you go on a first date with someone who is really attractive. In fact, this person is without a doubt the best looking person you’ve ever dated. He’s a real head turner. On top of this, he’s so kind, smart and successful. After a delightful first date, you text and don’t hear back. When a person is shame based the immediate reaction is to take the silence personally. Shame gets triggered, and in this case, feelings of unworthiness spring up. You feel unworthy.

You feel shame and you make it mean you’re unworthy. While intellectually you may realize you are worthy, you just don’t feel that way deep down. Now you have a chance to discover what feeling unworthy is all about. What is driving the shame? What lies beneath feeling unworthy? What don’t you know about yourself deep down?

In my experience, I never had a lot of success with affirmations. I could tell myself I am worthy ten times a day for 2 weeks and I still would feel unworthy. I also spent time in therapy both individual and group. I’ve meditated and journaled. All of these modalities were helpful. But my shame continued.

What finally worked for me is discovering a personal truth. When you discover a personal truth that resonates with your heart, you fill that hole in your heart. This is how you find the meaning in your shame. This is why the truth works. You feel it. You feel it in your heart. Your truth isn’t something that you’re trying to talk yourself into. Feeling the truth is what lets you know for sure.

Let’s go back to the example of feeling unworthy. You feel shame and you make it mean you’re unworthy. You’ve already begun the process of transforming shame. You’re feeling your feelings, but now let’s add a twist.

Here’s an example: 

Think, what don’t you know about yourself that’s driving you to feel unworthy? Allow yourself to feel. Then ask yourself do I need to know I am loved? Then feel. Does loved resonate? Yes or no, is that what you need to know? If no, then go on to another word. I feel all this shame and unworthiness because I need to know I am precious? Then feel. Does precious resonate? Is that what you need to know? If yes, then that is what you need to know. You need to know "I am precious." This is your truth. 

You’ve been feeling unworthy and acting accordingly because deep down you didn’t know you were precious. And now you do. Now you know the truth. I am precious. You can feel it, when you never could feel it before. Allow the truth to settle in and grow inside you. Allow the truth to fill a hole in your heart.

When you learn how to resolve and transform shame, shame can become your friend. You can use shame to learn about places in your heart that hurt. You still may not love shame. Shame may never be your BFF. But shame can serve as that friend that is honest with you. It can be the friend that tells you the truth. Shame is the kind of friend that tells you your breath smells bad. Information you might not want to hear, but it’s good to know. We can all use a friend that’s plainly honest with us. 

Read Part 4

Dolan Maydeda is an author, coach, and chiropractic kinesiologist. He enjoys swimming, cooking, and his family tradition of making mochi. He lives and practices in San Diego, CA. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this..... it helps,....I understand what you are saying,....what leave me undone is when I hear the words that resonate,...I am loved,...or I am precious, etc. whatever the words may be in that moment,...and the tears just start flowing,...I guess that is a sign of where I am still hurting...


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