Guilt and shame

Hello shame.

Differentiate between guilt and shame

Shame arrives to maintain our integrity and self-respect. It appears when our personal code is broken or when there is wrong-doing. It helps us live life in a way that feels good for us. Guilt and shame are often used interchangeably, but guilt is not an emotion. Guilt is a fact. We’re either guilty or we’re not. Shame draws our attention to who has been hurt and what must be made right. When these emotions are used productively, we channel it to course-correct behavior, atone for wrong-doing, heal and protect. When shame gets stuck, it loops repetitively without resolution.  Shame wants us to find the courage to be accountable and the strength to course-correct. Let’s get clear on what to do when shame shows up and give it some love for doing its job.

1. Get grounded

When we notice shame come up, take a super-deep belly breath and imagine that we have a protective shield around us. Allow the shame to flow out to the edge of our shield.

2. Acknowledge it’s here

Hello shame. Thanks for coming. Let’s notice how they show up in our body. What does it feel like like? Focus in, describe it and notice what’s happening. It can feel a little scary to get so up close and personal with our shame so keep taking super-deep belly breaths, relax (as best we can) and be brave. We’ve got this. When we feel ready, ASK GUILT OR SHAME: Who has been hurt? What must be made right?

3. Relax and body scan

We ALL actively store tension from shame in our body. Sometimes we’re aware of it sometimes we’re not. That tension builds and exacerbates arthritic pain. After getting up close and personal with shame, let’s notice the residual tension in our body. Let’s do a body scan and take a walk around our whole body to relax the muscle, tissue and skin in each area. Breathe into each area, consciously release tension and allow those muscles to sink towards the earth. Yes. We’re the boss of our tension.Let’s release and let it flow. Choosing to relax is an act of self-love. Let’s give ourselves some love.

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