Today’s video is a continuation of the series on Negative Emotions. This time, I’d like to focus on shame and shamelessness.
Shame is one of the worst feelings we can experience. When you feel ashamed, you essentially feel as though you are not ok, that there’s something fundamentally wrong with you, that you’re broken. And Who You Really Are knows unequivocally that there’s nothing wrong with you, that you are 100% worthy and 100% right exactly where you are. So, when you feel ashamed, you’re actually denying Who You Really Are, and no thought feels worse than that.
Where does Shame Come from?
Watch the video to find out:
Shame is a learned response. We are not born being ashamed of ourselves. It’s something we have to pick up. If you look at the animal kingdom, you’ll find that animals which have not been domesticated – animals in the wild, do not experience shame. It can be argued and it has been debated that domesticated animals such as dogs, do seem to display shame. Do they actually feel shame the way we do? Who knows? The point is, shame is not something naturally found in nature – we had to be taught to feel ashamed.
Where does Shame actually come from?
I believe that shame is a product of a fundamental, societal problem with self-esteem. It’s present in the most primitive of tribes, as well as the most sophisticated of societies and their subgroups.
Essentially, if I feel really badly about myself, and I believe that I’m not ok, I’m going to look for other people who are the same as me. So, let’s say that I like pink. Hey! You like pink! We’re the same! Let’s band together! Because liking pink is the unifying factor, we make a rule: If you like pink, you’re ok. Now, we can feel better about ourselves. We validate each other. But by that definition, anyone who doesn’t like pink is NOT ok. And of course, we’re going to let them know that by shaming them – hopefully, into compliance. The more people we can get to join our group and follow our rules, the better we can feel about ourselves.
We shame people into compliance. It’s a tool that we use in society to get people to comply with our rules, so we can feel validated.
Where do the rules come from?
These “rules” are completely arbitrary. They differ from society to society and from sub-group to sub-group. In every case, someone simply made them up. This is where you get such gems as “Don’t wear white after labor day.” This phenomenon goes far beyond survival and has nothing to do with protecting the greater good, such as “Don’t eat all the food so the tribe doesn’t starve.” These are absolutely arbitrary rules.
We often don’t even remember where these rules came from, or how they were formed. They generally make no sense to us, and yet, we still tend to live by them. When we break one of these “rules”, we feel ashamed, because we’ve been taught to feel ashamed.
At this time, in most societies, we are seeing a major increase in shamelessness. At first glance, this sounds like a really negative thing. But someone who is shameless is simply refusing to follow these arbitrary societal rules.
There are two reasons for someone to behave shamelessly:
The first reason comes about when someone feels so secure and worthy and knows their own power to such an extent, that they feel no need to follow society’s rules. If they want to go and do something, they do it, even if society won’t approve. When someone feels this secure, even if they’re completely shameless, we don’t tend to be offended by them. In fact, we usually find them very attractive. True shamelessness comes from supreme confidence and people tend to appreciate that and even revere it.
The second and much more prevalent reason for shamelessness today is when people rebel against the idea of shame. These individuals are sick and tired of feeling ashamed and like they’re not ok on a fundamental level. You can see this rebellion in action on the Jerry Springer Show. These are people who are engaging in extreme behaviors and doing so proudly. Or, at least they are proclaiming to be proud. What’s actually happening here is that they’ll say that they’re feeling great about themselves, but they don’t, and you can hear the discord between their words and their vibration if you listen closely. Most of them are unknowingly lying to themselves and everyone else. They don’t actually feel secure, but they’re rebelling against the idea that they’re not ok. They will often try to shock people with their behavior, in an attempt to say “Stop making us feel this way!”
As more and more people are waking up these days, we are seeing an increase in shameless behavior. More and more people are sick and tired of feeling like they’re not ok.
So, it’s ok to be shameless?
Well, yes. You know that I don’t judge, so everything is essentially ok. But I wouldn’t necessarily recommend running through the streets naked in an attempt to overcome shame. It would be far more beneficial to work on your sense of self-worth, confidence, and on not feeling as if other people’s or society’s opinions have any power over how you feel about yourself. The only one who can ultimately control how you feel about yourself is you. If you take back your power from all of these arbitrary rules and you understand that you are fundamentally, absolutely perfect, then you can begin to live your life the way you truly want, regardless of what these “rules” say.
And when you live that way, when you’re live authentically, even if you do something that society may consider shameless, people will generally not be offended by you. In fact, when we see someone with that kind of confidence shining through them, we find it very, very attractive. That’s because deep down, we all want to feel that way, don’t we? We all want to feel like we are ok. And when we see someone who feels truly good about themselves, we’re inspired to want to feel that way, as well.
What makes you feel ashamed? Can you identify any “rules” that make no sense but that you’ve been adhering to, nonetheless?