Finding an Antidote to the Poison of Shame

Apr 24, 2024 | News

Shame is a poison that keeps us from experiencing our own joy and disconnects from the aliveness within and around us. Whereas guilt is associated with a particular memory or event and having done something wrong, the feeling of shame is about being wrong at our core. It is a debilitating feeling we have about ourselves that comes from a core belief that we are basically and unalterably flawed.

Sources of Shame

The poison that is the root of shame is absorbed in early childhood. As a result of not being seen and loved for who we are, we develop the belief that we are unlovable and that something inherently wrong with us. Perhaps we were told outright that we were bad, stupid or undeserving, or perhaps we were physical abused, from which we concluded we had no value. The thing we may have done “wrong” might have been simply expressing our joyful authenticity. We may have learnt that being who we are is unsafe.

Purpose of Shame

Strangely enough, shame gives us the illusion of safety. It provides us with a feeling of control over other people’s feelings and actions. If we are not getting what we want in life, in our personal relationships or in our work, we derive some kind of source of power or safety in the thinking that it is because we are inadequate. If our “defectiveness” is causing the results we see in our life, we believe that we can always do something about it”

Clinging to the belief that our inadequacy is the cause of other people’s behaviour towards us prevents us from accepting our inherent helplessness over others’ feelings and actions. When we begin to understand that all people at all times are simply exercising their free will and it has nothing to do with us, healing can begin.

The Antidote

The poison of shame can be eradicated by taking certain steps towards healing:

  1. The first step is to identify your shame, to become aware of how it feels in the body;
  2. Once you recognise the feeling, notice shame every time it arises and experience it fully, name it and feel it;
  3.  Be willing to express your authentic feelings – including your joy and sense of true power. Reverse the shutting down effect shame causes by giving yourself permission to fully “show up”;
  4. Accept that other people’s feelings have nothing to do with you. With compassion, choose to no longer take their behaviour personally;
  5. Practice forgiveness – for those whose behaviour led to your feeling shamed, and for yourself.

If you would like help working through and releasing your shame, consider taking part in Key 2 in the Unlock Your Love Blocks® program at


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