What is Shame?
Shame is a tricky, insidious, mysterious emotion, yet it’s at the root of all human suffering and dis-ease. It’s responsible for the “there’s something wrong with me story” and is responsible for creating the things we dislike in our lives.
The subtle creates the gross and it is the shame that exists in our subtle bodies – our emotional, mental, and spiritual or energetic bodies – that manifest in our physical bodies and lives. This shame, particularly Feminine Shame, is responsible for so much of the suffering and dis-ease we experience.
Shame Dictates the Show
So much of my life has been dictated by shame. I’ve struggled to like myself, let alone love myself. I’ve felt small, awkward, uncomfortable, misunderstood, and like no one “gets” me.
I’ve engaged in countless hours of exhausting mental gymnastics, over-analyzing, and hyper-intellectual pursuits in the name of finally “fixing” myself.
I’ve sought countless “answers,” “fixes,” and “protocols” to help me finally measure up to some illusion of an ideal. An illusion that existed outside of myself and was the “normal” I was desperately trying to emulate.
I’ve needed help and not wanted to ask for it because then they’d know just how fucked up I really am.
I’ve hated my body and watched as my health suffered, which fueled more distrust and disdain, which led to more health challenges. I’ve denied emotional expression, flow, and release because it felt trivial, “stupid,” “unproductive,” and like it wouldn’t actually “fix” me. I’ve spent a great chunk of my life being in a state of hyper-vigilance; ensuring I was “on” so as to not upset my surroundings.
I’ve allowed my boundaries to be crossed and my needs to be unexpressed and unmet. I’ve moved around obstacles rather than moving the obstacles around me. I’ve felt like I was too much and not enough at the same damn time. I’ve felt disconnected from nature, my authentic Self, my own experience of my own divinity.
I’ve felt like something’s perpetually wrong with me for simply existing.
What it all comes down to is this: whatever we’re resisting, is supplying fuel to the shame. The parts of ourselves we’re not relating with and not witnessing and loving, are feeding the shame.
If we’re ashamed of the wounds we carry, they can’t become our gifts.
We’re all carrying a legacy of pain and trauma that breed shame and unworthiness and the illusion of separation. My sacred mission in this life is to bring awareness to the fact that shame, particularly Feminine Shame, exists and is at the root of most of our suffering and physical dis-ease.
You know I don’t believe in “letting go” in the sense of forcing us to remove a piece of ourselves and our stories, refer back this article where I discussed “Why Letting Go is BS and What to Do Instead.” Trying to “let go” of something is impossible and simply breeds more dis-ease and resistance and therefore, shame.
When we’ve been through something, we’re changed on all levels – physiologically, emotionally, mentally. Often it’s the resistance to this change that breeds the shame – we’re ashamed of not being the same anymore.
Rather than “letting go,” what we can do is transmute our pain, turn it into something else entirely, change the way we relate to it, and let it become the gift that it really is intended to be.
Changes Out of Our Control Breeding Shame
We are ashamed of things about ourselves that are transient, like our bodies and emotions. Shame also presents itself when we internalize things that occur around us or to us.
My body is transient. She changes constantly! On a daily basis! As I’m sitting here right now! She shrinks and grows, waxes and wanes, bleeds, excretes waste, and more. In our culture, our bodies are also a huge source of shame. Don’t get fat, don’t age, don’t let anyone know you poop or have a moon cycle! Ew!
As an example of things around us that we internalize, we can look to our family and early upbringing. My mother was an alcoholic and a drug addict. These traits are undesirable and unhealthy. I internalized this shame of her shortcomings and wrongdoings. The way she lived, the way our lives were, were socially unacceptable and uncomfortable, and therefore, shameful.
See what I’m saying?
Shame is caused by resisting some part of ourselves and in that resistance, we live in a constant state of inner conflict and turmoil and are constantly ashamed of the part of ourselves we’ve been programmed to believe is unworthy or invalid.
Shame In Our Bodies
Shame impacts the physical body in a variety of ways. It registers as a stress response, which is killer to the physical body and the root chakra energetically.
Basically, when shame is dictating our lives, we’re in a state of survival and fight or flight mode. We’re wearing armors and personas to mask these shameful parts of us why any means necessary. And when we’ve been so programmed into believing that most everything about us is shameful, including our very bodies, you can see how we’re all a bunch of stress cases!
And simply being alive on planet Earth in these times results in a nervous system that is way too jacked and wired anyway; add in the berating inner critic and shame living in our subtle realms, you’re creating a gross experience of ill-health. Adrenal issues and reproductive challenges are becoming rampant, among other ailments.
Beginning to Unravel Shame
Shame prevents us from experiencing true intimacy, from living our purpose, from getting our needs met, from expressing ourselves fully. We are going to have a very difficult time getting close to others in any relationships. We’re all coming from this inauthentic place because we’re terrified of really being seen.
Shame prevents us from expressing our passions and living our purpose because we don’t want others to know what’s important to us or what we’ve been through and it feels too transparent. We are ashamed of our needs so we don’t ask for them to be met.
We’re paralyzed in a little prison of our own creation – wanting to be seen and not wanting to be seen; wanting to create waves and live fully and not wanting to rock the boat; envisioning more for ourselves and then quickly questioning our worthiness or capability.
How can we begin to find more nourishment in our lives and heal these shame stories?
First, we must presence how shame is living in our lives and in our bodies and in our thoughts and beliefs… It’s here. You have a bellybutton and ears and also are carrying some shame, particularly Feminine Shame.
Frequently Asked Questions About Feminine Shame
What is Feminine Shame?
What is Feminine Shame:
InnerSpark defines Feminine Shame as an intense and deeply held resistance, aversion, resentment, and fear towards anything that is soft, transient, cyclical, fluid, passive, nurturing, intuitive, an/or emotional in nature.
It is a shame towards that which is natural in a world attempting to get us on board with what’s “normal.”
This learned disconnection leads us into a perpetual state of “not enough.” We feel wrong, bad, unworthy, fundamentally flawed just for existing. As a species, we’ve lost our taproot and have learned that it’s better to ignore the innate naturalness of our being, unless we wish to open ourselves to scrutiny, judgement, and more shame. What we’ve learned and emulated across many generations now, largely due to Puritanical programming, isn’t “natural,” although we’ve come to certainly view it as “normal.”
Living with Feminine Shame is a constant fight between natural and normal and an internalization that there’s something wrong with us. We are disconnected from our InnerSpark and continually seek cues and validation externally. This compartmentalized way of life makes everything harder and wreaks havoc on us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and contributes to dis-ease on a massive scale.
Why Does Feminine Shame Exist?
Why Does Feminine Shame Exist:
The root cause of feminine shame is in the programs that have taught us to shun our naturalness and to view it as wrong, bad, sinful. Since so much of our world in its natural state is meant to encompass these qualities (our physical bodies, the cycles of the Earth, the stages of life, growth, and aging, and more), it’s an unfortunate truth that we’ll all experience this feminine shame at some point our lives to varying degrees. Always striving to fit into a rigid, external measure of “normal,” willing ourselves to continue the quest when what would truly bring us back to wholeness is embracing our natural state and our Spirally essence.
Who Does Feminine Shame Impact?
Who Does Feminine Shame Impact:
Feminine Shame impacts everyone – regardless of gender or physical anatomy. It’s an abstract, permeating concept that mostly refers to shame towards that which is natural and has virtually nothing to do with gender or anatomy. While womxn do tend to experience it more directly, as a species, we’ve undoubtedly come to a place where the essence of “feminine,” or the Spiral Principle is not held with high regard. We are all impacted, as is our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and the health of our planet.
How Do We Heal Feminine Shame?
How Do We Heal Feminine Shame:
We heal Feminine Shame intentionally, compassionately, gently, and lovingly. We do so by embracing what’s natural and letting go of what’s been deemed “normal.” We heal Feminine Shame through befriending the body, managing our energy system (with resources like InnerSpark’s Energy Management Tools), connecting with our emotions, aligning with Nature’s wisdom and rhythms. We do so by reconnecting with ourselves, our InnerSpark, to see the parts of ourselves riddled with shame. We do so in community where we allow ourselves to be seen and witness each other. We come back to a state of reverent balance and holistic living and thriving.
How is shame showing up in your body, your life, your relationships?
What would you express if you knew you’d be completely received?
What are you terrified of having others see?
The InnerSpark Method is a profound inward journey of self-discovery and shame-busting for deep-feeling womxn.
Ready to get to the root of your burnout, ditch people-pleasing, self-sabotage, and anxiety, and discover your true, shame-free nature so you can confidently thrive in body, mind, and spirit?
Sweet Soul, it’s time to live from your InnerSpark.
Explore Feminine Shame:
Feminine Shame exists because of shame we carry around the things about ourselves that are transient and cyclical – like our physical bodies and emotions.
Hi there, beloved deep-feeling womxn! If you’re struggling with burnout, overthinking, and people-pleasing and you want to be able to finally use this deep-feeling nature of yours as a gift, stay tuned because I’ll share how to do that in the next two minutes.