What is inauthentic shame and how can we get rid of it?
Inauthentic shame is when another person shames you, yet you haven’t done anything wrong. By WRONG I mean that you haven’t done anything that hurts nature or humanity. You haven’t acted out of integrity.
Your body still feels all of the physical aspects of shame or guilt. It turns inward and destroys your image of you.
Then you strive for perfection. You try to not make mistakes.
You may even be so used to being shamed that you create conditions in your life that keep you in a state of shame. Overeating, for example, is a coping mechanism that also keeps us stuck in a cycle of shame. By merely existing as an overweight person, we feel shame for being alive, then overeat to cope, and then feel more shame for overeating. It’s a vicious cycle to break.
Where Did It Come From?
We have to see that what others think or feel is not related to us. This is their worldview, based on their life experiences. Their right and wrong is based on a set of rules they were taught. Their “Book of Law” as the Four Agreements calls it.
Their fear. These rules are their belief systems, which also generate the thoughts that generate their feelings.
So we inherit inauthentic shame when someone makes us feel bad for doing something that THEY perceive as “wrong,” when it fact we’ve done nothing wrong. We haven’t hurt anyone.
A parent might shame their child by questioning what they’re doing. She might say, “What are you doing?? What’s wrong with you?”
The child’s heart will break. They will start to turn inward, thinking that they’re not enough. They’re bad. They’re wrong.
If someone does this to your child, or you’ve had an unconscious moment and do it yourself, then you can let them know that the person (or you) didn’t know what they were doing. Let them know that they’re perfect and learning and they will do things their own way. Let them know that they don’t have to change or do anything differently to be loved by you.
Recognize Inauthentic Shame and Hand it Back
We have to recognize when others are putting inauthentic shame on us.
The only question you need to ask is, who have you hurt?
If you haven’t hurt anyone, then you don’t need to feel authentic shame. You don’t need to atone for your transgressions.
Remember that love and presence are your compass. You can’t do anything “wrong” when you move within this space.
Let the belief that you’re not good enough, that you’re dumb, that you make mistakes go.
Those are beliefs you INHERITED from your mother, or your dad, or someone else.
Tap into your own wisdom here. Tap into the truth.
Then hand their shame back to them. This isn’t your burden to carry.
You now know when you feel AUTHENTIC shame. When you’ve hurt someone and you need to make it right. You’ve acted outside of presence, outside of love.
And you now know that you are worthy because you exist. You are as perfect as the Source from which you came.
You’ve let go of beliefs and rules that never served you.
Tap into your own knowing and trust yourself to do the right thing when you act from the present moment, without constantly being distracted by an old Book of Law.