Shame absolutely crippled me during the major portion of my life.
Even after I experienced some blogging success I still felt ashamed because I believed people would be stunned at my actual, tangible, real world results versus their assumptions.
I recall someone deeming me a 6 figure earner. Heh! I never made the claim. But based on my skills and exposure the friend assumed about….well…..not quite 6 figures too generously, but you get the drift.
Forget about being amused with the assumption. Shame flooded through my being. Imagine if the individual and her following figured out I was not a 6 figure earner at the time? SHAME! SHAME! Embarrassment coursed through my veins. Why did the blogger put me on the spot like that?!
Eventually, I realized she saw where I was headed and gave me a little nudge to believe in myself and to realize greater success was on the way.
A few situations in life triggered deep, pulsating fears aligned with my darkest, my hideous, most paralyzing shame.
I lost all of my money – dropping back to zero – multiple times after I began blogging. I fell $70,000 into debt. My mom became ill with a terminal illness. I had to observe her lose her memory, her will and before she went into hospice, I experienced one nightmarish scenario where she spit at me, punched me in the head and eventually, we had to call the police to figure out how to handle the situation.
I remember the feeling vividly; a real life nightmare unfolded before my eyes and I felt deeply ashamed more than anything that people outside of the family – police officers – saw my mom behaving in that fashion. I wanted to apologize to the police in one moment then jump off of a bridge in the next moment.
Nothing quite triggered my shame like losing all of my money, going bankrupt, and watching the woman who lovingly raised me evolve into a completely helpless person, then, violent enough that we had to call the cops for our safety.
Shame purged from my being after each of these experiences. I cried then wailed so deeply and in such guttural fashion that I began to vomit. I did not want to leave my bed. I even considered suicide to avoid facing the world after the secret got out about my embarrassed, shameful episodes.
But these brutal purging sessions allowed me to love and accept myself. Shame all but vanished from my being. I rarely felt embarrassed moving forward.
The things I felt most ashamed about came to pass. I lost all of my money multiple times. My mom became similar to an infant well after she turned 60 and the world knew about it.
You know what? Facing, feeling and releasing shame-filled emotions triggered during these nightmares made me:
- incredibly prolific (I have written and self-published 126 eBooks in additions to 10,000 plus blog posts and guest posts combined during my decade online)
- unconcerned with what people think about me, my feelings and how I live my life
How are you doing with shame? Did you largely engineer your life to avoid shame? Don't laugh; most people get a job, buy a home, pay a mortgage and raise a family not because individuals have a blissful, deep, pulsating love of doing each thing.
Most folks follow the herd because doing so feels comfortable, safe and allows them to avoid the rank shame and utter embarrassment of losing all of their money, not knowing where they will live or where their next meal will come from, and being subject to the ridicule of friends and family when your business or globe trotting lifestyle seems to run into stiff resistance.
Face shame or shame will make you mentally and physically ill. I observed loving, kind, generous souls who borderline edged into madness before falling gravely ill and dying prematurely. Making matters worse, these were absolutely compassionate, fabulous human beings who simply feared facing shame too deeply. Each tragedy haunted me to be the most fearless human being I can possibly be today.
On the flip side, feeling and clearing shame makes you unstoppable and quite limitless in a world of folks terrified to be criticized and even more scared to fail for fear of the shame triggered during each event.
Shine brightly for the world. Face and feel your shame. Trust me; shame will find you if you do not seek it out first.
People need more bold, clear, confident people unburdened by the poisonous emotion of shame.