Toxic shame steals our souls. It robs us of our joy, spontaneity, and our light. Today I will show you how to calm the chaos within and convert that darkness into light! In this article, I will share seven steps to heal toxic shame with you.
The Difference Between Shame and Guilt
Before we get started,, I want to go over the difference between guilt and shame because many people confuse the two. Guilt is primarily external when we feel that a choice or behavior isn’t working or isn’t reflective of our best self. Shame is internal and is making a mistake and believing that we are, as a person, a mistake. For example, think of a relationship. Someone who has guilt might say,, ‘I can see how I didn’t listen to my gut when getting into a relationship with that person. In the future, I will have a plan in place to follow my heart. This is somebody taking responsibility for their part and accepting that they are perfectly imperfect. Additionally, they keep the internal self intact by committing to putting a plan in place.
On the other hand, shame occurs when a person talks down to themselves about their decisions. Their inner dialogue contains phrases like, ‘I’m so stupid! I’m such an idiot! I’m to blame for everything!’. As you can see, there isn’t an objective assessment. They have taken on too much blame and are treating themselves as though they have no inherent value or worth unless they are perfect. They have no personal grace, which belittle and destroy the core self.
Shame is the internal belief that who we are is a problem. In my previous article, “What Is Toxic Shame,” we learned that this core belief comes from the trauma we experienced as a child.
The 7 Solutions: How To Heal Shame
Step 1 To Heal Toxic Shame
We need to develop self-esteem and a sense of self that we never had. I have a video on YouTube called ‘How to Love Yourself’, which will help you develop self-esteem and self-love. While these are valuable skills, ultimately, healing comes when we learn to recognize that at our core, we have worth. This worth is not based on what we do or achieve. Inherent worth is not a by-product of doing something. It is simply a truth we are born with.
Step 2 To Heal Toxic Shame
Whether the shame was placed on us directly or indirectly, we carry shame that doesn’t belong to us. To learn how to give it back, I invite you to visit www.thegreatnessu.com. I have a free masterclass called ‘Your Journey to Emotional Mastery,’ which provides you the first step in turning that shame-based emotional misery into emotional mastery. I also invite you to the Resources page on my website. You will find my Journey book titled- “How To Give The Pain Back.” So make sure to head over and start your journey to give the shame back.
Step 3 To Heal Toxic Shame
We have to develop our morals and values, needs and wants, and negotiable’s and non-negotiable’s. I talk about this a lot because it is crucial to developing your sense of self. You might think you know what yours are, but most likely, you are unaware that they are your parents and not your own. To help you separate yours from your parents, I have three videos on my YouTube Channel. All three can be found in my Codependence Playlist, and they all start with ‘Codependence Recovery.”
Step 4 To Heal Toxic Shame
Learn how to be, not to do. Toxic shame creates ‘doers’ because toxic shame is about our parent’s inability to separate telling us we were bad as a child (‘You’re defective!) from the bad action (‘Your choice was imperfect!’). We all created false, maladaptive “doer” personas to get our parents to acknowledge our inherent worth.
I devote a whole chapter in my book, ‘Your Journey to Success,’ showing that life will come to you when you learn the process, I suggest. When you know how to let that happen, ‘being’ makes things happen much more quickly than ‘doing.’
Step 5 To Heal Toxic Shame
Learn how to stop self-abandoning, which means you have to start facing your addictions. Most of us are addicted to something in life – food, drugs, pills, pot, porn, CBD, alcohol, shopping – and as much as you want to justify your addiction by saying it’s genetic, this isn’t true. We now know that genes only mean we have a predisposition for a particular ailment. For the gene to activate,, it requires the right environment. Addictions are trauma-based and an attempt to soothe intolerable emotional pain. While it may be true that this addiction runs in your family, what it means is that your family is stuck creating the same emotionally toxic environment.
This is an essential first step to help you get into reality if you suffer from an addiction. To help you further,, I invite you to read addiction specialist Gabor Mate’s book ‘In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts.’
In addition, make sure to head over to my YouTube channel and my Worst Day Cycle playlist. This series will help you navigate the process of healing the pain so you can arrest the addiction.
Step 6 To Heal Toxic Shame
Shame can be equated to a virus sequestered in the dark. If we let it fester and grow,, it can become all-consuming. The disconnect from our inherent worth must be brought into the light. Only then can we begin to heal. Joining a 12-step or self-development group are excellent source of light. In groups, you can bring your false self and begin to shed it by sharing your fears, pain, and shame as the first step towards healing and becoming your true, authentic self.
The secret is to find one that focuses on living in the solution and not victim-blaming.
Shame expert Brene Brown says that those who have taken part and attended groups are better able to create a reorientation towards their pain and imperfections and, therefore, have more resilience to shame.
Step 7 To Heal Toxic Shame
Forgive yourself. You are perfectly imperfect. You are pure joy, love, and light. There is nothing bad or defective in you – you are always of worth. You feel the opposite because your perfectly imperfect parents, or caregivers, placed their unhealed pain, lack of self-forgiveness, and shame on you. This isn’t their fault. It’s due to a society that has refused to teach about the importance of Emotional Mastery.
No one can blame us for something we weren’t aware was happening. For example, creating a maladaptive persona to cope with the trauma and shame we all experience, So do not blame yourself now. You have simply been doing the best you could with what you have known at the time. However, now that you have new information for the first time,, you have a choice. You can choose to develop emotional mastery and learn to do things differently. You can now choose to heal.
As we know better, we can do better, and as we learn more,, we can do more. You are learning about the tools available to you. You can use them, or you can choose not to? Today is the first day in your life that you have this choice. Will you choose to develop the skills to help the same and how to forgive yourself?
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