It has been said that out of all of the emotions that someone can experience, shame is the hardest one to handle. The reason for this is that when someone experiences shame, they can feel bad and worthless.
It doesn’t end there, though, as their inner world can collapse and they can have the need to hide their face or to isolate themselves. Consequently, it can be normal for someone to defend themselves against this feeling or, to be more accurate, this inner experience.
When they experience shame or before they even have the chance to do so, they can end up being consumed by rage. Instead of feeling deflated and emotionally collapsing, they will end up feeling pumped up and energised.
As this response will stop them from falling down, it will prevent them from feeling really bad about themselves. The downside to this, of course, is that it can cause them to behave in a way that is destructive.
Conversely, one could be in a position where they are generally out of touch with their shame. Thanks to the defences that they have in place and how they hold themselves (body armouring), they will seldom experience this feeling.
Being this way will stop them from feeling bad and worthless and that can be seen as a good thing. The downside to this is that it will probably be normal for them to behave in ways that are shameless.
A Big Difference
What needs to be made clear here is that there are two types of shame: the first type is normal or healthy shame and the second type is what is often described as unhealthy or “toxic” shame. The former is what will allow someone to function in society, whereas the latter will be like acid that destroys their self-image and makes it impossible for them to feel good about themselves.
Someone can experience normal shame, learn from what has happened and then repair it without too many problems being created. Toxic shame, on the other hand, can end up being far too much for someone to handle and this is why they can end up being consumed with rage or end up losing touch with their shame altogether and developing an inflated false-self in the process.
One More Option
If someone experiences toxic shame and they don’t become consumed with rage and they haven’t lost touch with this part of them either, they can drown in it. They will fall into a deep hole of self-loathing.
Before long, they could end up feeling depressed and there could be moments when they think about ending their life. This doesn’t mean that they won’t have ways to defend against this experience, as there could be a number of things that they do to try to soothe themselves.
Out of Mind
Taking this into account, there are going to be people who typically avoid their toxic shame by experiencing rage or anger, those that avoid it by disconnecting from it, those that are generally consumed by it. Additionally, there are going to be those that don’t carry toxic shame or only have a small amount of it.
When it comes to those that are carrying toxic shame and do what they can to avoid it, either through being consumed by another feeling or generally being disconnected from it, this inner material will end up being held into their unconscious mind. Their conscious mind can then forget all about it, but another part of them will be only too aware of it.
Once it is in their unconscious mind, it will end up going into what is often described as the “collective unconscious” or the collective consciousness. This comes down to the fact that even though their ego-mind, along with their eyes, will cause them to see themselves as separate from everyone and everything, this is nothing more than an illusion.
One of the consequences of having all this toxic shame held in the collective consciousness is that different movements will materialise where some people will dehumanise certain people. So, people who have a certain belief system or look a certain way, for instance, will end up being seen as less-than-human.
When this happens, someone like this won’t be able to see these people as individuals; they will all be lumped together and put into a box. Although one will be behaving in an inhumane manner, they can have all kinds of reasons as to why their behaviour is justified.
The more “intelligent” they are, the easier it can be for them to prove that they are right and that these people deserve to be punished. In other words, due to their well-developed intellect or simply what they have learned in the education system, they will be better at deceiving others and themselves.
A Massive Cover-Up
Ultimately, as they, and everyone else who is in the same position, have become estranged from their own toxic shame, they will have to see this part of themselves in others. What they see in these people will be a reflection of what they are unable to see in themselves.
But, as they are unaware of how these people are mirroring back what they are unable to acknowledge within themselves, there will be no need for them to change their behaviour. They will be completely convinced that the problem is ‘out there” and that these people need to be changed or dealt with somehow.
When someone sees themselves as merely an observer of reality as opposed to a co-creator of it, it will prevent them from being able to face and heal their own inner wounds. Their focus will be on what is going on externally, and this will just cause them to go up against their own shadow or unacknowledged darkness.
For their life to change, and for them to change the collective consciousness, it will be essential for them to develop a better connection with their inner world and to start to heal their inner wounds. This won’t be easy but it is likely to be one of the best, if not the best, way to change their life and the planet as a whole.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.