What is shame?
It is a painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, unworthiness, or disgrace. It is a feeling of dishonor, disgrace, or condemnation.
Shame is an intense pain of self rejection and hatred.
Shame hinders us from receiving the full life intended for us. It wastes our energy and life.
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, experienced shame only after their rebellion against YHWH God and their pride (arrogance). Shame entered into our nature along with guilt.
Shame became a part of our culture; through the family, friends, Television and magazines advertisements and the entire media we receive a constant and consistent massages deceiving us in believing that we are not good enough unless we have certain physical characteristics and financial status.
Shame is toxic. Some parents put this toxic shame in their children as a basis to motivate them in their lives. This leads us to accept and humiliate ourselves, which leads to a self-hatred which, in turn, leads us to depression and rebellion in a vicious cycle.
Shame a vicious cycle has seven steps:
(1) Exposure to a limitation or a weakness as we compare ourselves to others and we fail miserably in front of the super models of the media
(2) Intensified self consciousness: looking at self as inferior and rejected. We become self-sensitive, self-centered, selfish and self-rejecting.
(3) Fear develops and intensifies to and becomes confused as an anxiety every time this limitation is exposed. This fear is always active.
(4) Paralysis: emotionally, and logically. This paralysis removes us from the reality and intensifies the fear which triggers wrong defenses such as intense projection, hatred, transference and delusional rationalized thoughts. This may lead to a high self-sensitivity which is characteristic of shame.
(5) Phobias develop. The person may think or feel: "I must get out of this situation immediately." Without dealing with any issue.
The person may makeup any excuse to blame others and run away.
(6) Self-isolation to keep the shame and avoid any future exposure. We say to ourselves: "I'll never come back . . . " and anxiety becomes associated with that event or the emotional memories thereof.
(7) Self-hatred and self-punishment for finding ourselves unworthy.
The power of SHAME.
Our American cultures, as well as other cultures, are shamed-based cultures.
It leads us to a life of slavery-like fear and terror from people and from social situations.
Shame may control us in every area in our life; in what we should or should not do, think, or feel all day and night. It cripples us emotionally and in almost every area related to relationships.
The power of shame begins with comparison of us with others.
We cannot accept love and safety from people because of shame. Many broken marriages and relationships are caused by shame.
Our negative reactions to what other people do to us is our shame reacting, because in truth we are ashamed of ourselves and passed judgement of hatred against ourselves, so we are ready to pass the same hatred on others.
It is recognized as a major factor in addictive and compulsive behaviors Shame is considered to be a master emotion like love and fear.
Shame is multi generational. It is usually transmitted from parents to children and to their children through child rearing and family interaction.
Some people believe that a certain amount of shame is nourishing. In reality, Shame is always destructive. But a sense of decency and embarrassment is healthy.
We need to distinguish healthy decency and self-respect from shame.
We should never walk in shame, guilt, humiliation or dishonor. Christ covers us with His redeeming blood, let no shame or guilt remain and let us not sin anymore to live without guilt or shame.