Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Have you felt it before? I believe we have all felt it in some way, shape, or form. It comes in different waves, for many reasons and in all types of relationships. If I'm honest, I have been dealing with my shame for about two years now. With that being said; I can no longer live in that emotional state. An emotional state in which we cannot love or help anyone because we cannot love ourselves. It has brought no fruit to my tree, only rotten decay. We often wonder why relationships don't work, and take a turn for the worse. You loved that person at some point - everything about them. Many times, I have realized it's about me, how I felt about myself. And as I dug deeper, I came to the conclusion that it was about my foundation, which was never solid, always rocky. So, I had to rebuild it. My foundation was built on scary emotions, including shame. Can we use this emotional energy to bring about something new? Transmuting shame into anything you desire: creativity, love, order, comfort, joy, etc. Honing in on that foundational emotion, to then turn your life path towards a new direction. The solutions are simple, yet take time and effort to execute. Being ready to face yourself, admit who you are, and take action. I'm ready, are you?
As defined by the Cambridge Dictionary website; Shame is an uncomfortable feeling of guilt or of being ashamed because of your own, or someone else's bad behaviour or loss of honour and respect. Shame isn't just a single feeling, it encompasses many. It is the foundational emotion to feeling things like; Despair, Destain, Pity, Guilt, Regret, and even Misfortune. All of these can manifest themselves and keep you from evolving as a person. The physical manifestations look like changes in your behaviour, and in your actions. For something to affect you so profoundly, in all parts of your life, one must be consistently living in their traumas and fears. Fear being THE foundation of all negative emotions. Because most traumas we carry are all fear-based, our brains automatically gravitate to those stronger emotions to make connections. Most people live in their fear without realizing it's happening; this is when you consciously and actively are thinking about all things you don't want to happen, or that you fear may happen to you.
It's about not letting your subconscious thoughts take the wheel, and drive you straight down the highway of shame. If you keep taking Pity Street, down to Guilt Avenue, it's only a matter of time before you arrive at Regret Circle.
You may be saying to yourself: What about being prepared for the worst-case scenario? There is a big difference between dwelling and living in fear, to being ready for the worst. Being prepared, in my opinion, is being aware, ready, and open to whatever is to come. Whereas dwelling and living in your fear makes it hard for one to be aware, present, or available in any way. Subtle yet obvious differences. When you make decisions in fear, you allow emotion to cloud logic, thus not having full control over yourself and what you're saying. Which, in turn, makes your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and actions questionable.
Think of your brain laid out like a big city on a map. In the book The Laws of Attraction by Jerry & Esther Hicks, they explain that, It starts with a couple of familiar places; small neighbourhoods, corner stores, a few streets leading to main roads. Those are your day-to-day thoughts and emotions, things you feel and think about that don't necessarily carry heavy emotion, but are thought of often. Then there are your main roads, where all the most popular stores, restaurants, and important places are located. Usually one can get to a highway from these main roads, that lead to other critical hot spots. These roads in your brain are important, and they are the base spark of emotion that leads to your foundation. Your foundational emotions being those big highways in your brain. The moment you conjure up a thought, it's always backed by some (sort of) emotion. If most of your highways consist of scary fear-based emotions, then most of your thinking process and choices have that underlying feeling. Which, in turn, doesn't leave much room for logic. It's about not letting your subconscious thoughts take the wheel, and drive you straight down the highway of shame. If you keep taking Pity Street, down to Guilt Avenue, it's only a matter of time before you arrive at Regret Circle.
To conclude on foundational emotions; one must be aware, reflecting, embracing, and moving forward. These are some of the most important tools you'll need to be successful in building new streets, roads, and highways in your brain. Learning how to use these tools is a lot easier said than done. That's why awareness is so important! Being aware of this information - your problems - knowing that there is a solution. Only then, can you genuinely reflect and embrace the information in front of you, then take actions towards moving forward. It'll be hard, take some time - or a lot of time - but it IS possible.
As you can see, this is a large subject to cover and encompasses many different components that I could not convey in one article. This article is one of three parts, with an end goal to offer a different perspective, as well as, help others through their traumas. The second part will be focused on Transmutation, what it is and how it can be used to our advantage when dealing with deep traumatic emotions. Then, the third part will encompass parts one and two, and give you tools and words of wisdom to get through this process.
- Anne-Marie Cardinal