This Is Why You Are Not Happy
How does shame affect us?
This article is about one of our ground (base) emotions that can be somewhat difficult to see and understand the effects of. It is often so ingrained in us that we do not even notice that we have it, carry it and live our lives under its power/shadow.
Shame is in a way a separation from our true selves. When we can not accept ourselves or the feelings we feel, shame often comes up. So when we feel bad, we often feel ashamed. Shame is a form of inadequacy and an inability to be vulnerable or remorseful. Shame disappears, however, the more we practice expressing it with each other.
We will now try to explain how shame resides in us and how it causes unnecessary suffering. and yes! Society’s norms also have a great deal to do with our feelings of shame and inadequacy. We, you, me and a few others are the society, right? So unfortunately, we are not victims of any higher power etc.
Behavior linked to shame
- Reducing, Diminishing
- Debt settlement, indebtedness
- Defending, judging
- Aggressive Self-assertion
Now see if you can reflect on when you last lied? Supposedly we lie up to 300 times a day. If that’s true, you might be able to quickly come up with your last lie. Now think about why you did it?
A. Hello how are you?
B. Good. Self?
A. Do you want to help me move out from my house?
B. Unfortunately, I cannot this weekend.
A. Why did you not reply to my text message?
B. I have not seen it.
A. Hi, where are you?
B. I jumped off the subway now, with you in 1 sec.
We lie more or less all the time. We lie without thinking about it and we do it because we want to be liked / loved. We exaggerate our stories, to seem more interesting. We spice up our job résumé. We deny our shortcomings. All this because we hide the pure, honest and authentic image of ourselves. Why? Well, because we think that image is not good or acceptable enough. We think it is too unsexy, inexperienced, boring, flat, meaningless, unsmart, etc.
And we apologize for the same feeling, the same lack, the same inadequacy.
“Come in! Sorry, sorry for the inconvenience, I have not had time to clean. I have been working around the clock for 2 weeks”
What we are really saying is: Sorry I’m not perfect. Hope you can like me anyway. However, we are too afraid to be so honest. So we use our autopilot instead – our programmed standard answers. Sorry for… I apologize for… I hope you’re okay with… etc.
We defend, we explain, enlarge, reduce, blame and assert ourselves. All to protect ourselves from others not seeing or understanding that we feel inadequate. That we have shortcomings. That we are imperfect.
You may be wondering why we are so afraid of being inadequate?
Is the shame toxic to us? For the inner child it is a disaster. (read more about the inner child, the radio and the super parent here). Since we are these three parts also known as split personalities. We also very often become divided. We can therefore say simultaneously—I do not care if I am liked while we (another part of us – our subconscious) acts in a different way. We become inconsistent and unaware of what we are communicating and sending out. We simply do not see that we are sending out different messages and signals. The result is that people lose trust in us, that we seem confused, or we get abandoned because we are unreliable. Catch 22?
The child in us may from an early age have learned the following collective beliefs that come through socialization:
• Power, beauty, money, celebrity = happiness
• Ugliness, intimidation, tastelessness, poverty, loneliness = failure
• Beauty = slimness, visible muscles, thick hair, smooth skin, long body
• Ugly = bald, thin hair, Acne skin, short
• Academic, well-traveled, social, outgoing = good
• Ignorant, shy, introverted = bad
• Married, family = happiness
• Unmarried and single = failure
We can play with the idea that we have a box of rules to work with in order to be successful. When we go outside this box, an alarm goes off in the body. The radio / our inner critical voice then begins to tell us where we need to go to get back into the box. In the box, where it is “safe” We often feel tired, depressed, uncomfortable and scared when the “radio” / ego is active. The “child in us” then feels lonely and abandoned. The alarm goes off again and the radio begins to come up with solutions and suggestions for “the child in us” to feel good again and be happy. “Eat less, exercise more, study more, avoid social events, go out, stay indoors, go for a walk, sleep, hang out, take a picture and post on Instagram, take it again, put on a filter, look better, be kinder, offer your help, ask for help, do not ask for help, manage everything yourself, be strong, etc.” Do you recognize the dialogue / monologue? Isn’t it interesting how the “radio” / ego insists that we do (or not do) something and then when we do it (or don’t do it), it berates us for having done it (not done it). All that is the Shame box —you can never win!
“The Radio” of the ego throws out a lot of suggestions on how we should be -Much out of fear of not being popular and almost nothing out of desire or love. The child becomes more and more imprisoned under the radio and the box becomes tighter and tighter. Panic or anxiety is becoming more and more common. “The child in us” does not feel well. The result is that we don’t want to be in the body. We try to escape our own body, the radio / ego follows. In other words, we try to flee from our own thoughts. And as we all know: that is, impossible!
Alcohol temporarily silences the radio – so alcohol is and remains popular. And in the long run we know it is unhealthy. An escape route and self-medication. After the radio has been silenced by alcohol, it comes back in even stronger and with more volume. Everyone who has had a bad hangover knows this. Think about how you are when you have drunk a glass of wine, relaxed? Two glasses of wine – Brave? Three glasses of wine – Vulnerable? 4 glasses of wine – Free? your inner critic / radio simply goes numb. We know it can feel incredibly good. We also know that there are other ways that are more sustainable and healthy. (Long Term Meditation)
The child within and the ego may also have picked up a number of other so-called “truths” from various authorities in our upbringing. These sit deeper and we can sometimes be completely unaware of them. These are also the basics for how big or small our “box” is
Some common so-called truths are:
• I do not deserve to be loved.
• I deserve to be punished.
• I’m alone.
• I am not valuable enough to be loved.
• There’s something wrong with me.
• I must not be sad.
• I must not be angry.
• I must not be happy.
• I should not be afraid.
• I cannot take care of myself.
• I’m incapable.
• I’m out, outcast.
* I do not belong.
• I have nothing to add.
• I’m stupid.
• I have to become something to exist.
• It is my responsibility what others feel; I must take responsibility for the feelings of others.
• I am there to make others happy.
• I become more popular if I am not seen and heard.
• I need to perform to be loved.
• Money causes problems.
• Money is not for us.
• You have to work hard for money.
• We cannot afford it.
• You need to save your money.
We start looking for confirmation when we have a hard and loud radio/ego. Today there are lots of fast quick fixes for constant confirmation. Over-delivering at work, getting “likes”, constantly posting selfies on Instagram.
The “super parent” in the psyche (read more about the term super parent here) may shine with his absence. The super parent is not something we are born with! It is something we create ourselves. Another word for the “super parent” is the conscious “waking” or ego self. Creating this conscious self is also what we call emotional intelligence! When we understand our feelings and are kind to ourselves, we get a higher EQ. We then learn to properly parent our inner child and we can then lead ourselves to peace, harmony, love and freedom and with that lead others.
We have created a gym to increase your EQ. We call it THE EQ GYM. Follow us on our new Instagram account for guided meditations, breathwork and more. And, join our free workshop session this Sunday where you will learn more and practice your EQ. Sign up for free here!
April / The EQ GYM
This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.