Dealing with Shame
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on July 19, 2016
Everyone has a past.
Shame can be part of the package.
It may have been something you said, you wrote, you wore, you did or you thought. It may have been ten years ago or yesterday. Yet, when you recall the memory today, your cheeks still burn, and you dread the day someone who means you harm hauls the event out of the closet for public inspection.
A friend calls shame-inducing life events “rotting, stinking corpses,” and we all have them.
When shamed, we feel worthless as human beings, damaged.
We didn’t screw up. We are the screw up.
Thus, shame is a most effective saboteur, and it likes to pounce, particularly when we reach for our dreams.
The Second Chakra
Shame is an imbalance of the second chakra, the lower-body energy center between the pubic bone and the navel.
What makes shame so problematic is the second chakra is also the storehouse of your creative energies. If shame is not controlled, your ability to express yourself and manifest your artistic and inventive imagination will be compromised.
After all, how can you present your work to the world when the threat of exposure fills you with anxiety and worry?
Step One: Neutralize the ghosts
Enough with the journaling, therapeutic talk and relentless self-analysis to get at the root of your shame. Odds are you’ll never find it. Just kick your way out.
- When the shame panic sets in, flip to Cobra. Lie face-down. Bring your legs and feet to touch and your palms to the floor just under your shoulders.
On the inhale, straighten your arms. While pressing your pubic bone into the floor, roll your shoulders away from your ears and push your heart forward. Exhale, and roll slowly down. Repeat ten times.
2. Sit cross-legged on the floor. Place your index and middle fingers over your closed eyes and plug your ears with your thumbs. Take a deep breath and exhale with a slow hum until the vibration silences the ghosts. Repeat three times.
Then, take a deep breath. Keep your eyes covered and your ears plugged, but this time, seal your nose with your ring fingers and keep your mouth shut. Try to exhale, but maintain the blockages until the pressure builds in your head. Release when you must through your mouth, and repeat until your mind is clear. Drop your hands into your lap, and with your eyes closed, silently repeat the mantra, “Vam. Vam. Vam.”
Step Two: Stop shaming other people
Do you believe you need to put people in their places? Do you want to teach them a lesson for their own good? Is it time to take another down a peg or two?
People know when they screwed up. If they don’t, it’s their journey, not yours.
Shaming doesn’t help your friends, your spouse, your children, criminals or addicts. It’s merely an exercise for the shamer to feel superior.
Look in the mirror, and get over yourself.
Neutralize the shamers
When people attempt to embarrass you with events from your past, their goal is to disempower you.
Take back your power when they display your rotting, stinking corpses.
You respond: “Yes, I said that.” Or, “Yes, I wrote that.” Or, “Yes, I wore that.” Or, “Yes, I did that.” Or, “Yes, I thought that.”
You owe no explanations, and the past is the past. You are allowed to evolve, from year to year or minute to minute.
May your last words be: “And your point?”