Guilt and Shame Decoded
So many of us can end up doing or not doing in life because of guilt or shame. Feeling guilty to not invite this person or that person to your wedding. Or feeling shame about the way you look or feel about somebody or something. When in reality, what is guilt and shame, where does it stem from?
Some people can live in guilt or shame their entire life, then get in resentment, anger or blame about it. All of us as humans are really our own individual for a reason, it is so we can all experience life through our own eyes, ears and bodies. If we are living our life to serve others or holding ourselves back because we are worried about what other people will think or feel about us, these are not good reasons for lack of action.
We all need to remind ourselves that we are all on our own journeys and if we are helping too much along the way with others, they are not learning what they need to learn. Generation after generation we flip flop as a society to being helpers to the ones being helped. It is an odd thing that happens in the nervous system when “helpers” get tired or run down. Or if someone is in Shame too often it can give them a reason to hide out even more.
What if you began to realize that guilt and shame are all based on rules. Guilt, are the rules that you create in your own mind, how you believe the world is or should be. We all have our own set of rules from things like how loud or soft someone should speak, how to dress, how to drive or even as simple as how one should load your grocery bag.
Shame is the rules that you believe society believes. Like holding a door open for the person coming behind you, or how you should conduct yourself in public in terms of behaviour. Other examples would be , standing in line, not budding or not having your elbows on the table while eating. Lots of shame can also be stemmed from the culture or country you live in. Abiding by old cultural traditions or lack thereof.
What if you began to realize that you can alter your rules for both shame and guilt. What if you became more curious about how you can change the rules to suit how you want to live your life? If there is a rule you have that is holding you back, it can be changed.
All of us as humans have also changed rules naturally over time, like when going to a new school or new house, or from being single to married. Even rules around diet, work, family and more. We call this a “Rules Alignment evaluation” Lets explore this more shall we?
How to create your own “Rules Alignment Evaluation”
1. At the top of a piece of paper right down an outcome. a. Outcome samples
i. Change career
iii.Take up a new hobby (Exercise)
iv. Live Healthier
a. Rules Sample
i. When out with friend I drink and or eat more.
ii. I have to have approval from a few people to do what I want.
iii. I need too much or not enough detail
3. Beside the rules to the right write out a new rule or altered rule as needed
4. Cross out the rules that you need to let go of.
5. Take action on the new rules
a. New rule samples.
i. I look after self first before others.
ii. I create space between my time and giving it others. (it is ok to say NO)
iii. I take action towards what I want, no matter what other people think
iv. My health is more important than making other people happy.