On why I love helping people recover from shame and self-sabotage:
The reason I love therapy and being a therapist is because learning to understand ourselves better and why we do what we do is key to more self-love, compassion, and happiness - with ourselves and in our relationships.
Too many people are hiding from shame so old and deep they don't even know it's there. They can see the stress, depression, anxiety, harsh self-judgment, the control issues, the difficulty with relationships - but they don't understand the underlying cause.
But it shows up in so many ways, like the incessant worry about how we look, insecurity about what we've accomplished, to the preoccupation with what other people think about us.
And then there's the way we sabotage our relationships, our work goals, and the pursuit of our dreams.
Yes. You probably have shame to thank for that! (Thanks a lot Shame. You're kind of an a******!)
But shame doesn't have to be a life-long sentence. And I tell you that as a graduate from the School of Shame! (PhD level.)
Thank goodness a good therapist long ago changed the course of my life, by giving me the life-long lesson of understanding the destructive effects of shame so I could release it.
Healing and recovery started with one little act: he called it shame. And he described my early family life as abusive and traumatic. Thereby robbing the shame of the fuel it requires: secrecy and silence. He helped me see that bumping into other people's anger, resistance, minimizing, refusal to see or talk about it - these were all weapons of shame.
I had never been able to use those words. That's part of how shame works (and how it gets passed down through generations): I was raised to keep secrets. And to lie about how I was affected. And to protect others by saying "well, they were really just doing the best that they could."
Or to say, "I wasn't an easy kid."
I'm here to validate the importance of reaching out. Someone wants to know and accept you. Someone is curious about your life. Someone respects the hell out of the way you managed to cope with the pain. Someone thinks you deserve to speak the truth.
You don't have to keep secrets for anyone anymore. You deserve to be free of that now and to live in the sunlight. Commit yourself to a new life where you are happy, loved, and valued.