Shame is a fascinating emotion. You’ve heard it called, “The Shame Game.” Ever wonder why it is such a game? Because it is so much fun? Not. Shame feels awful and it keeps us entrenched in the miserable feelings. I see shame and guilt, for that matter, as the ego’s game. It is the ego’s way of keeping itself alive. The only way the ego stays alive is by us focusing on it. Shame is a great way for us to focus on the ego and all the lies we tell ourselves. Shame comes about when we feel we have done something wrong, something unforgiving. If we believe that there are no mistakes and that we are all just practicing life, then shame would not exist. Shame can only exist because we believe in mistakes and failures. If those words “mistakes” and “failures” did not exist, how would we interpret experiences that led to a different outcome. Maybe just as that!
The Shame Game is all about feeling bad about something we did and thus, feeling bad about ourselves. The old scripts of “I’m not good enough” and “I’m always wrong” start playing over and over again in our minds. When we start to feel bad about ourselves, we project those feelings onto people around us. We believe that they are going to see us as failures and thus, not love us and eventually, leave us. So instead of them leaving us, we leave them by isolating ourselves deeper into our shame. Once the shame game starts, it’s challenging to stop it. It feeds on itself and can be a very vicious cycle creating a lot of turmoil in our lives.
I have started to explore ways to stop the shame game. One way to stop it is to let go of the concept of mistake/failure. When you hear yourself saying that you made a mistake or are a failure, ask yourself if that is an absolute truth or an interpretation. Shame is only an interpretation so it can not survive among the facts. The other way to stop the shame game is to speak your truth/shame to others. Instead of holding it in and giving more energy to the secretive, bad thing you think you did, speak your truth and be free of it. You will find that speaking your truth and your experiences will offer you a sense of freedom because they will no longer consume you. They will be gone. Lastly, when you are no longer hiding in shame, you will experience a deeper sense of connection.
When you choose to stop the shame game, you are choosing love over fear.