For some people, shame is something that they experience every now and then and, when they do, it typically doesn’t hang around for very long. For others, shame is something that they experience on a regular basis and, when they do, it can typically hang around for a very long time.
When it comes to the former, this will just be another feeling that someone experiences. Yet, when it comes to the latter, this won’t just be another feeling that someone experiences; it will be a feeling that is more or less always experienced.
A Miserable Existence
As a result of this, it is going to be a challenge for them to feel good about themselves or their life. They are likely to have moments when they feel very low and moments when it goes even further, with them having the desire to die.
If they do experience happiness or joy, this could be something that rarely, if ever, takes place. In a lot of cases, it could be an experience that they have after they have been drinking or consuming something.
A Very Low Place
By being this way, it is unlikely that their life will be very fulfilling. When it comes to the people in their life, that’s if there is anyone in their life, these people could reflect what is taking place inside them.
Therefore, they may often be treated badly and undermined by them, with them simply tolerating what is taking place. How they are treated by them will match up with how they see themselves, so there will be no reason for them to make any changes.
As for what they do for a living, they could have a job that they can’t stand and be only too happy to walk away and never go back again. But, they are unlikely to believe that there is anything that they can do.
It could be as though they have to stay where they are or they will end up living on the street. If these two areas of their life are like this as well as others, they are not going to have much to live for.
Another thing that they are likely to struggle with is revealing who they are, so expressing how they really feel and their needs. This is likely to be seen as something that would cause them to be rejected and abandoned by others.
To be accepted, then, they will need to hide who they are, their true self, and to wear a mask. This mask can be like a mirror as they can generally behave how other people want them to and how they think they want them to.
This will stop them from being seen and heard, what they will desire deep down, but it will be seen as the only way for them to survive. If this mask was to drop and they were to fully show up, it will be seen as something that would cause other people to see that they are inherently bad, flawed, unworthy, defective and dirty and are nothing.
As far as they are concerned, fully showing up will cause them to be ostracised and then to die. Taking this into account, it is not going to be a surprise that they will have such a strong need to hide who they are around others and to hide away from others.
Now, it would be easy to say that what this person is going through is purely about shame. However, along with the shame that they experience is likely to be a number of other feelings.
When they feel ashamed, they are also likely to feel powerless and helpless and their body could go into a state of collapse. They will then feel bad and their whole body will be stripped of its power.
On one level, there will be what is going on for their intellect/mental body, on another, what will be going on for their emotional self/emotional body and, on another, what will be going on for their physical body and nervous system. Taking this into account, it won’t just be about their mind.
Nonetheless, as they are likely to have ‘negative’ thoughts and they will probably live in a society that is mind-centred, they could end up coming to believe that it is. If they were able to reach out for support, they could soon come to believe that changing their ‘faulty’ thoughts and ‘irrational’ beliefs will allow them to change their life.
Changing what is going on on top may allow them to change their life for a short while but it probably won’t last and even if it does, it is likely to mean that what is truly going for them has been repressed and covered up. What this comes down to is that if this is how they are experiencing life, it is likely to show that they are in a traumatised state.
Most likely, this is primarily due to what took place at the beginning of their life; at a time when their thinking brain was in an underdeveloped state. In other words, this could be trauma that is preverbal.
A Closer Look
Perhaps this was a stage of their life when they were often neglected and when they were given attention, were not given the level of attunement that they needed. This would have meant that they often felt overwhelmed and it would have stopped, let alone broken, the interpersonal bridge between them and their caregivers from developing.
Consequently, their nervous system would have reacted to what was going on, with them going into a collapsed, shut down parasympathetic state. Their system would have been filled with toxic or core shame and their true self would have gone into hiding.
The Foundations Were Laid
Throughout this time, a number of associations would have been formed. Their true self would have been associated as something that was inherently flawed and unlovable and hiding who they were would have been seen as the only way for them to be accepted and to survive.
The creation of their false self would have automatically started at this point and continued as time passed. To top it off, they may have been mistreated after this stage of their life, which would have caused their system to carry additional layers of pain and trauma.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, 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.