Shame is largely a mystery to those people who suffer from the painful affliction. It’s even a mystery to psychological experts who struggle to define it. However, we can get clarity and understanding about it when we go deep into our psyche.
Better yet, with deep awareness we can completely eliminate shame and its accompanying suffering.
Let’s first discuss the surface aspects of this negative emotion. Shame is more than just the awful feeling that one has done something wrong. With shame, a person often feels that he or she is a phony, fake, or imposter. Sometimes the person feels like a complete loser or utter failure as a human being.
We can be entirely innocent of wrong-doing, yet still feel shame. Examples include feeling shame in association with sexual functions or deficiencies, elimination processes, social ineptness, impressions of being looked down on by others, and allegedly being ugly or clumsy. Hence, we often feel shame for emotional, irrational reasons.
Shame is also frequently associated with one’s behaviors or actions. Drug addicts, alcoholics, and compulsive gamblers can feel great shame in the aftermath of their self-defeating behaviors. So can individuals who lack self-regulation with food, shopping, video games, pornography, or other compulsive activities. Shame can certainly be an appropriate emotion when someone does something truly disgusting or perverse. [Read more…]