Updated: May 7
Blog 1: Shame/Guilt
In this series talking about the human emotions, we will open up a new landscape on how to process these difficult emotions in a controlled environment.
As with anything on this platform, there is no wrong or right way on how to heal, only your way. May this platform open up various perspectives to help you find what path to find within your own self before externally forcing things to fit.
Guilt and shame are complicated emotions. They fester over time. Some people are very good at suppressing them but it is funny how the subconscious mind works. Maybe in your waking hours you are able to dodge them due to over stimulation, distraction and toxic behaviors, but whenever you rest for too long they slowly creep up. It can be subtle from hearing a word on the TV, to a song on the radio or even a friend bringing something up that is eerily close to what it is that is weighing so heavy on your conscience.
Usually with guilt and shame we can even begin to project this by gaslighting, projecting and deflecting our own shame onto others. The thing about these emotions is that it makes us feel bad, very bad. Sometimes we feel worthless, like a failure, hopeless, lost, victim and so much more when we are consumed by the weight of our own doing. The thing about guilt and shame is that it is something usually that we have either created by our own actions or have taken on to be our truth.
Guilt and shame generally cause physical symptoms in the body as well. This can be a lot of stomach related issues as we store our emotions in our guts, as well as anxiousness feelings like heart racing, sweaty body parts like hands and forehead, to migraines from the constant overthinking to terrible nightmares and feelings of exhaustion. As with any emotion they are meant to be processed fully and released. This is always a 2 step process in healing emotional based feelings and then having to repeat them until we have fully processed and released them from our system.
Being able to identify the issue is always the first step. It might be subtle that you notice you are very defensive or easily annoyed by other people and then it puts you in a really bad mood but you aren't able to pin point where or why this is happening. Or it can be very obvious what you are doing because you know exactly what is weighing you down but refuse to do anything about it. Either which way it is, it is hurting you the most. Usually with guilt and shame there could be other people involved making you feel nervous, scared and afraid of what might happen if it comes out but you're the only one living in the prison of knowing or subconsciously knowing what it is that you're holding onto.
The problem with guilt and shame is that you're holding onto a story. You are attached to holding on to that bad feeling instead of doing something about it. Sure someone might be mad, or someone might not be your friend anymore after they learn about it but at least you are honest and don't have to carry that huge guilt around, keeping it in the dark anymore. It may take multiple attempts for you to deal with it but eventually it can in fact go away. Emotions are temporary so why do we always feel the need to hold on to them?
Guilt and shame are things that can be very sneaky. Think about those who have been abused in their life. Especially those from any form of sexual abuse have major shame around sex, being sexual or even enjoying sex. The initial abuse they endured made them feel ashamed of feeling the act of pleasure as something to be enjoyed but rather something shameful. This is a more subtle form of shame that many don't even realize they are holding on to. Perhaps the people pleaser who was criticized as a child for asking for their needs to be met, feels guilty asking for help because they fear they will be shamed by the ones they love. Or even the ones who are harboring guilt of wronging another fear they will lose someone that they believe they are in fact protecting that person from their disgrace when in fact they are hiding a part of themselves which doesn't allow for unconditional love to present itself.
Everything in life is forgivable. The question is are you willing to forgive? In order to receive forgiveness, absolution, clarity, freedom or whatever it is that you are looking for in processing guilt or shame you have to be able to accept it within yourself and then forgive yourself for it. You will have to do this many times before you can truly let it go. The same will be said if there are other people involved. Change doesn't happen over night it is a slow process that requires discipline, strength and courage. We can't truly transform without weathering a few storms in the process.
To process emotions you actually have to feel them. Are you ready to let yourself feel everything? There are many different practices but before even attempting just ask yourself if you are able to feel anything in life and then start to unpack those feelings that you are currently experiencing. I bet you your perception of your happy moments aren't even all that happy always. When we hold ourselves back in one department it greatly impacts all others. Sometimes we think we are having enjoyment and pleasure but it is actually just a temporary dopamine or serotonin rush and then it's over. Not actually being fully present in the moment of whatever emotion is passing through you.
I find journaling and speaking out loud to yourself to be very therapeutic. Journaling helps me to organizing my thoughts and then verbalizing it makes it real for me. Whenever I am not feeling my emotions strongly in the sense that I can experience how hydrating a glass of water is, or how good the sun feels, to reading a good book or experiencing something less desirable. I check in with myself to see if I am holding back anything. I start with journaling and then eventually those become more thoughts and the more thoughts I generate, causes the emotions to well up and once those come to the surface I find a way to release them. Usually through tears, sometimes from swearing up a storm or sweating it out by doing something super physical. Either way I take myself to that space to move through them I don't hold them in anymore and I allow myself to not hold back on tone or language or judge them. I allow myself to feel the full range and be unapologetic in those moments.
When I am done, I feel so much lighter that I am able to release it and don't need to really do much about it or I can calmly take a plan of action, like speaking to someone about it, apologizing, asking for my needs to be met whatever it is I can then calmly have a conversation and not a reaction.
Life is a series of events. They are all temporary, they come and go and change everyday. Why is it that we feel the need to bury them, hold on to them or over identify with them, when we inherently know that everything can and will change? We will explore more about emotions throughout this series on how to work through them and more importantly how to process them in a way that is beneficial and less destructive to others.
As always keep shifting your perspectives and finding the delights in every day moments.
Love and Light,