August 19. Letting Go of Shame.

Shame is that dark, powerful feeling that holds us back. Yes, shame can stop us from acting inappropriately. But many of us have learned to attach shame to healthy behaviors that are in our best interest.

In dysfunctional families, shame can be tagged to healthy behaviors such as talking about feelings, making choices, taking care of ourselves, having fun, being successful, or even feeling good about ourselves.

Shame may have been attached to asking for what we want and need, to communicating directly and honestly, and to giving and receiving love.

Sometimes shame disguises itself as fear, rage, indifference, or a need to run and hide, wrote Stephanie E. But if it feels dark and makes us feel bad about being who we are, it's probably shame.

In recovery, we are learning to identify shame. When we can recognize it, we can begin to let go of it. We can love and accept ourselves - starting now.

We have a right to be, to be here, and to be who we are. And we don't ever have to let shame tell us any differently.

Today, I will attack and conquer the shame in my life.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
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Aug 19, 2014