Many of us have experienced actions and events in our past that bring feelings of shame. It's important to analyze our history, draw conclusions, and strive to become the best version of ourselves. However, we often find ourselves trapped in these events, repeatedly subjecting ourselves to shame, hindering our progress in overcoming shame and embracing self-acceptance.
Shame acts as a poison, contaminating our existence. We fear that others will discover our past secrets, envisioning a scenario where countless people gather to judge us. But let me make one assumption - people don't care about you. Literally, they are so wrapped up in their shame that they have nowhere to squeeze you into their busy schedule of self-flagellation.
What we really fear is the judgments of several people in our life. We have erected people on a pedestal of morality and exalted them to the face of saints. But these people, whose opinion is so important to us, are just people with the same baggage from the past and their fears.
What we truly fear is the judgment of a select few people in our lives. These people, whom we've elevated to moral pedestals and treated as saints, are, in fact, just people with the same baggage from the past and their own fears.
How can we overcome these fears? How to feel free from shame?
It often starts with the fear of the unknown. Perhaps the first step is confiding our secrets in someone whose opinion matters to us. But the first step can take years or even whole life. We can start with something simpler. Let's imagine sharing the worst secret with someone whose opinion is important to us. We can imagine their moralistic condemnation. But guess what? The world doesn't come crashing down!
This exercise brings relief. Why? First, we free ourselves from the weight of shame. Second, we realize that the judgment of the moralist has no real impact on us. Their condemnation reveals more about them than about us. We discover their true nature in their judgment—small, fearful, and cowardly.
By engaging in this mental exploration, we understand that things are not as dire as we initially thought. We can let go of our fears and embrace a sense of freedom.
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