This time of year vibrates with LIGHT & RENEWAL. It speaks directly to what is possible when we successfully lift the shroud of shame and negativity and discover what lies in wait as we gently yet powerfully move through a larger doorway into a world of greater and greater acceptance, belonging, empowerment and worth
When we are on the receiving end of projected shame, blame or guilt, it can cause us to feel so demoralized that we don’t want to accept it. We want to project this shame or blame OUT to almost anywhere we aren’t.
In my experience, although chronic shame resolution work involves slow, incremental shifts, when very deep early needs for external protection are finally met, it can shift the very foundation of someone’s experience in a profoundly curative way.
Shame distorts our judgment about the world, others, and especially about ourselves. It forms a harbor for self-doubt and anxiety and/or rumination around that doubting. Attempting to move forward to accomplish something, regardless of how badly it may be desired, calls forward an army of self-doubt or a cascade of depressive and freeze-like neuro-signaling.
People ask me all the time about the importance of compassion in shame resolution work. My response is always the same: “It is crucial at the right time, in the right dose, and with the help of mirror neurons.”
Have you ever noticed feeling unsettled when a perfectly safe person, be it a colleague, a recent acquaintance, perhaps even your mailman stands close to you? There’s nothing specific to connect the feelings with, just a sense of discomfort, tension, awkwardness. Maybe you feel queasy or shaky, maybe a strong urge to run away over takes you but there’s no logical reason why. Rest assured, you’re not alone.
I remember, not too long ago, experiencing what I call the blame game and its potential to capsize my therapeutic relationship with a client. Each Alchemy of Shame Transformation (AST) Model session lasts 75 minutes. Although integration happens throughout the session, the last 10 or 15 minutes are reserved for cognitive integration of the experience; clients are encouraged to devote a special journal or notebook to capture the tools we harnessed from the session.