Shame can be powerful in people’s lives, but not in a good way. Some direct anger outward, while others focus it internally. Each moment of anger can provide a distraction from shame or feelings that come with it. Shame involves judging and casting blame on someone or the self. Healthy shame is guilt for doing something wrong that moves people towards positive behavior. When it is not directed in a positive way, it can express itself through negative ramifications.
Where Shame Lies
Shame can become elusive but it lasts a lifetime. Anger may become the response in reaction to the slightest arousal or thought and feeling that triggers it. Some people use alcohol or drugs as a form of self-medication to reduce the potential for being present to what they feel. Shame is self-critical and keeps the person from feeling capable of handling their emotions. Tough love and unrealistically high standards may reflect an effort to avoid harming others and being overwhelmed by shame itself.
Learning to Let Go
When men are under the foothold of shame in their lives, it can challenge everything they thought they knew or understood about themselves. Not everyone is ruled by toxic shame. Some people suggest shame comes from being told that they did something bad, so they believe they, themselves, are bad. It can close people off to accepting any form of positive regard for self or others.shame can lead to feelings of overwhelm and undermine being fully present with others and the self. In learning to let go of the critiques from shame, men can:
- Break the bubble of shame that requires the cultivation of self-reflection or awareness
- Become attuned to the inner dialogue
- Observe but don’t react to what is going on in the head at all times
- Develop self-compassion for choosing to cultivate better awareness
- Become a witness to woundedness and trauma
- Try mindfulness on for size and see what type of strategy comes of it
Expanding personal compassion and gratitude can help overcome the toxic levels of shame that build up over time. Whether it is spoken or unspoken, shame can settle into a person’s bones and keep them from moving forward in life. The key to addiction recovery is to notice all the negative patterns going on in the person’s heart and life, then turn those around to heal them for good. The reality of addiction is that people are not always able to see what needs to be healed. It takes others to let them know just what to do in order to heal properly. The goal is ultimately to lead a successful and fulfilling life, in spite of the challenges people face. This will help them to see recovery as a journey of healing.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Our goal at the Last Resort is to help men identify shame and kick it to the curb. We help you do that by first addressing issues around addiction. If you are ready to quit drugs and alcohol, please contact us. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.