emotions, freedom, healing, letting go, shame



photo by dee hill

“It’s hard to dance with the Devil on your back.”
– Florence + the Machine

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about shame, and it won’t be the last, unless by some amazing miracle, it’s eradicated once and for all. Maybe then I’ll write a blog called “Remember Shame? Me Neither.” But the odds of that are slim, so I’m going to keep bringing it up.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about the blocks to your most vibrant, radiant, sexiest life.  The toxic threats to your well-being. Those radiance-robbing sexy-stifling and fire snuffing habits that hinder our connection to our own inner light and diminish our joy and dull our experience.

There are a bunch. So far, we’ve discussed old programming, self-talk, judgment and comparing. And there are more to come.

I’m personally acquainted with all of them, and have had torrid affairs with most of them. A few of them still call from time to time, looking for a roll in the hay. And I must admit, I sometimes take their calls. But I’m getting better about letting them go to voicemail.

There is one I know pretty well, and that is shame.

We go way back.

Chances are, you know it, too.

I’ve come to realize that shame is the most toxic and deadly of the bunch. I’m not even speaking figuratively. Get this…

“The body has a remarkable ability to manifest shame as illness or physical problems, because the hurt of shame registers in the brain in exactly the same way physical pain does. And it also produces inflammatory chemicals in the body that set us up for illness.”

– Dr. Christiane Northrup

There is well-documented evidence that those who experienced adverse childhoods that were heavily associated with shame, abandonment and betrayal are far more likely to have health problems later on and die sooner than those that didn’t.

In layman’s terms… this shit is poison.

I have my own theories, and I bet I could find the science to back them up, that shame is an underlying root cause of addiction, self-harming, eating disorders and other struggles and illnesses.

Are you carrying shame?

Isn’t it time to be free?

Sure, sounds great, Lisa, you may be thinking. But how?

The antidote for shame is worthiness. Do whatever you can to cultivate your own self-worth. It’s not easy for many of us, but I promise, it is possible.

And here’s the interesting thing I find about shame. It is rarely founded in fact or truth. And its roots are usually very old, and usually tracing back to when we were very young, and finding subtle, sneaky ways to stay alive, “evidence” if you will, experiences to match the shame.

There are many ways to release shame…

  • spend time daily cultivating self-forgiveness and compassion

  • journal your way through

  • mantras, affirmations and mediation have the power to rewire shamepatterns in your brain

  • remind yourself regularly that you did the best you could, as you knew how

  • have an honest talk with a trusted friend

  • work with a coach or therapist on specific tools and modalities

  • investigate shame-releasing processes and therapies (a simple Google search of “how to release shame” had about 74 million hits! Obviously, this is a hot topic.)

The important thing is that you do the work to release it.

I’m still working.

I can definitely feel the freedom that comes with less shame.

But hidden in small dark crevices, some residual shame lingers. It surprises me sometimes, popping up unexpected in a behavior, or even a dream. Lingeringshame around past mistakes and choices, religious mind-fuckery, old and decrepit messages I received as a kid, sourced from  what Eckhart Tolle refers to as the “pain body”, that deep-seated part of me that does not want to live without some degree of suffering.

I am gentle with myself (when I remember to be.)

I am patient with myself (when I can be.)

I am loving toward myself (when I come from my source, which is pure love.)

We are all works in progress. No one here is expected to be perfect. No one is.

It is also true that it is impossible to be your most radiant, powerful, beautiful, liberated self while carrying the weight of shame. It’s heavy.

Let’s get that devil off our backs, so we can dance, freely, with abandon, and feel what it feels to be completely and entirely shameless.

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