Account Mindfulness to work on ‘Shame’
In the blockbuster movie ‘TaareZameen Par: the child protagonist ignores his talented, creative personality as he cannot read, he tries to fit into the mould which society has made for him and withdraws into himself, changing into a miserable, introvert with zero confidence. If a young person can feel shame where the brain does not know how to deal with shame, he also faces pressure of being correct, can you imagine the kind of pressure an adult man and woman might be under to be perfect or hide their flaws.
Women tend to feel guilty more often, the smallest incident can make them dive into their conscience and they come up with shame as the trophy to beat themselves up with negative emotions. A financially dependent woman might feel shame in asking for money, a working mom could feel shame about not completing the household chores in time or not spending enough time with family.Shame has various forms, being obese, not fair enough, physical appearance, it’s a byproduct of our insecurities It’s a feeling where you think something is wrong with you, it is self inflicted shame. Coping with guilt and shame is an uphill task. The other day on a social media group an anonymous lady had posted about her 3 year old suffering from itching on her private part. Why did she have to go anonymous for it? Isn't it a physical problem just like a person would have a cold or a headache? Shame about it being a private part made her go anonymous How do we deal with negative emotions? Why do we discount ourselves and feel shame?
We may live in a patriarchal society, men seem to have a better grip on their emotions or could be they are unwilling to come face to face with their deeper feelings. With metro-sexual men as the man of this century, they have started to recognize emotions as part of their life, but letting it out would be something they will have to come to terms with. Women can be upfront about shame but men, that's the emotion they will have to face. Men could feel shame about not having the better car as their next door neighbor, not being able to provide the best school education to their children, not able to look after the parents, spend time with the spouse, the list is infinite. It could be about not being strong enough, confident enough to make the right decision or whatever shame the mind holds them prisoner and unable to come out of the self imposed cage of shame they have put themselves in. Shame has no boundaries of gender, age, class/status it is all pervasive. How do you control these emotions before they take control of your life?
How do you get past the feeling of SHAME, or go about dealing with guilt and shame. You will have to recognize the feeling as shame. Guilt and shame are closely associated. The difference between guilt and shame is subtle, it’s easy to confuse one with the other. Guilt is fear of being judged by ourselves, shame is the fear of being judged by others. One can feel guilty about causing pain to others.
Learn to manage emotions as both these feelings are capable of discounting a person and reducing them to a bare shell of bones and skin, feeling like a zombie going through life.
Shame has the capacity to corrode self worth, it can block the positivity from life. It will make passion take a back-seat, shame will be in the forefront and overpower the positive aspects of your nature. Self doubt will creep in, you will start questioning every decision you make, it will affect your relationships. Try asking yourself why do you have this feeling of shame? Is it a long buried issue from the past, did you face ridicule? Only you can take control of your life by controlling your thoughts. Could be you like to sing/hum, but did someone say,“God! your singing grates on my ears”, that has put a stop to your humming, if it makes you happy go ahead, be a bathroom singer, sing at karaoke nights, tone deaf is fine, you are not hurting anyone. Start by taking control of your thoughts. Identify the feeling, try to bring a practical approach to it. Practicing Mindfulness towards shame will make you aware of your emotions and will help you take charge of life. Once you have identified the feeling of shame, analyze it, ask for help from a trusted person or seek help from a professional. Shame can hinder decision making, it makes you fearful, every situation will have you second guessing yourself, it is an overpowering and a degrading emotion. Why do we need to hide it from self and others? Mindful living is the mantra, take charge of the emotion and it will no longerget control of your life.
Shame can be overcome with the miracle of mindfulness, by simply making a re-decision
- Accept the feeling and identify your denial space.
- Know where the shame comes from, a past event or self inflicted, become aware of your triggers
- Identify the emotion, is it shame or guilt, know the difference.
- Observe, is it your pattern and what happens when it gets triggered.
- What sets it on, a situation or people around you.
- Seek help, from caregivers or a professional.
How do you get your life back?
Live with mindfulness, the benefits of mindfulness are infinite, once you have identified the emotion, take control of your life, analyze the fear, seek help, stop yourself from discounting your self-worth, do not worry about “log kyakahenge’(bow down to societal pressure), what others will think or try to fit into molds, you will find yourself walking with a spring in the step, a smile on the face and you will be in the driver’s seat of the ride of the journey called life