22. Shame Doesn’t Like Daylight
One of the most invisible emotions is Shame. You can be embarrassed about some part of your body or about something you have done. You can feel this way for other people or for a group of people. It includes a lot of taboo, secrecy and keeping quiet. It can literally choke people and make them feel powerless. The big disadvantage of shame is that people keep it bottled up as a big secret inside. They don’t talk about it and it causes them to retreat. Shame is often an important cause of shyness and not being able to talk to other people.
Much Shame, Little Self-worth
Shame goes even deeper than feelings of guilt. With feelings of guilt you suffer because of mistakes you have made. You have the feeling that you are a mistake. Your self-worth is often hard to find when there is a lot of shame dwelling inside of you. People with BDD are really familiar with this. BDD = Body Dysmorphic Disorder. They are convinced that they are ugly and suffer intensely because of it. These people usually stay inside and socialize with other people as little as possible. The cause of this often stems from comments made to them about their appearance during their youth. Those comments hit so hard that they have taken on a life of their own.
Men and Women Experience It Differently
According to Prof. Brené Brown, men and women appear to have different causes for shame. Women especially experience it when they don’t fulfill the ideal: when they don’t look like Barbie or when their children, house, desk, or whatever else, is not as it should be. Men feel it most when they show weakness.
Community of Shame
What I find particularly interesting is that people can be experiencing shame for another member of their family. Unmarried, pregnant women used to be isolated; they went to “visit their aunt for a half year”. The shame and embarrassment within the family was often enormous. “The whole neighborhood was gossiping about it.”
Sometimes an entire village or church congregation unconsciously carries it for something in its history, even for an entire nation! I call this a “community of shame”: you all communally feel ashamed about something. This is a major source of taboos and makes people be on guard. They can then suddenly become very heated or tense if something is said that involves that history, because it touches their feeling of shame. It can be a bit of a surprise when you innocently ask questions in that direction, such as during your first visit with your in-laws.
When you are part of such a “community of shame”, you can slowly but surely get this out of your system with the MIR-Method. One of the steps especially directed at this is step 3: “Detach Father. Detach Mother.” By doing this you also detach yourself from shame and other emotions which influenced your father, mother or their parents and your whole family tree. With step 4: “Clear meridians”, you work on your meridians, including the Small Intestine meridian and the Circulation meridian, both of which become disrupted when you are ashamed. You slowly detach yourself from all the taboos lurking within, including your national or church’s community of shame.
Please note: In order to deal with shame within yourself, follow all 9 steps of the MIR-Method!
What “communities of shame” can you think of? And what would it be like if they all slowly but surely erased their shame? Leave a reply below.
Thank you for reading and I hope it will help you release all the shame that may still be inside you!
P.S. Will you help spread the MIR-Method? You would do me a big favor by forwarding this article to other people! Feel free to post it to your Facebook page or send it via e-mail, Twitter or Linked-In! Use the icons on the left-hand side or below! Thank you!
P.S. Not familiar with the MIR-Method yet? Please go to the homepage. You can watch the video there and also the instruction video. Sign up for our newsletter and 6 weeks of coaching e-mails for extra support!
My mother was shamed because her own mother had been born illegitimate & raised by her grandmother to cover up the mistake. Then my grandmother had to get married because she got pregnant; ditto my mother but her marriage failed so she returned to live with her mother with her daughter. An older half brother took advantage of her there & she had two more children. Finally she married my father after giving up her son for adoption but passing all her children off as by the first husband. When I was born 5 years later my father didn’t want anymore children & my mother wanted a boy to be named Geoffrey. After years of shaming I can attest to its power to destroy a family home & marriage. I finally am healing from all these secrets & now have my voice again. Silenced children can only perpetuate family shame!
There is community shame in Canada about the treatment of Indigenous peoples and rightly so, especially the residential schools that children were forced to attend; having their hair cut, being punished for speaking their languages, having to dress in European outfits, and more. Sexual abuse was actively going on underground as the world now knows. There was an official apology from the federal gov’t years ago but I thought it was really fake and lame. I felt ashamed of the loser apology.
There is also shame on the other side of the coin! There are Native people who liked the schools. A woman named Rose where I live spoke out about how wonderful the Sisters were, no abuse, loved chemistry. There was a boy on the other side of the school, she said, who really liked the welding shop. She was shut down and silenced right away because people thought she must be either lying or a traitor out to endanger the claim of abuse, that the schools had to be 100% evil for 100% of the children in order to be valid and believed by white people. My heart broke for the abused children and I still feel ashamed. I also believed and had empathy for Rose, I often wondered what happened to her after her public shaming.
Thank you for telling this. And for not looking away, but taking in and going through the shame. I strongly believe it will help the entire country heal. Many countries have done aweful things to indigenous people. The healing is, fortunately, getting stronger. And so is the redemption that is coming for them.
With removing shame we should use all 9 steps?
Yes please, always use all 9 steps!
in the indian context i can think of ‘women’ as a community though they are a sub-group of the whole community. especially in a traditional patriarcal society ‘little self worth’ syndrom is passed on to the daughters from mothers. in fact, dauthers are oftern forced, emotionally blackmailed, given a secondary status & are often reminded of the same even if the mother/parents are not out and out cruel. it must be a mechanism in the society to create a submissive serving class; the members of which are supposed to have shame!
i liked the ‘Erase shame’ paragraph very much. till one is suseptible to be pushed into shame – worthlessness – slavery by the way of being or remaining unaware, the mechanisms/systems in the society powerful and would continue doing exactly that. to be aware on different levels of one’s existance MIR is GOOD!
Yes, and that is exactly why I am so happy that the MIR-Method is picked up by so many women! About 80% of the people that use the MIR-Method is female. Fortunately more men are joining too. May we conquer shame and regain our self-worth!
Greetings and thank you for your kind words!