Many of us carry our shame and our feelings of unworthiness for much of our lives. We stay closely attached to them, we identify with them, and we have a hard time letting them go. We start to identify as being shameful people. We feel inadequate, inferior, undeserving and unworthy. We allow our shame to control us. When we learn mindfulness, we learn that we have more control over our thoughts and feelings than we thought we did, and we can direct them however we’d like in order to heal and feel better about ourselves.
We can apply mindfulness to our shame and our other difficult emotions to help ourselves process them more productively and manage them in healthier ways. Our normal ways of coping with shame were often to turn to our drugs of choice to make us feel better. We tried to use our addictions to escape our self-judgment, judgment from other people, and the pain of being judged and criticized. We were trying to distract ourselves from how disappointed we felt in ourselves. We were trying to drown our sorrows and regrets with our addictions. We learned over time that our shame never left us when we used drugs to try to avoid feeling it. Avoidance and denial only exacerbated our shame. We want to learn to be more mindful of our shame instead so that we can actively work to forgive ourselves and release all of the hurt within us.
Shame is debilitating, and we’re often paralyzed by it. When we feel ashamed of ourselves, we often will stay stuck, unable to change course of redirect ourselves. We very often will keep doing the things we regret, unable to implement changes in our habits, patterns and choices. With mindfulness, we can examine why we feel so ashamed in the first place, why we’re allowing it to fuel our addictions, and what we can do to turn it around. Let’s start monitoring our self-talk, and the ways in which we think and feel about ourselves and our shame. Let’s ask ourselves some questions to help ourselves confront and investigate our shame. “What am I so ashamed of? What mistakes or wrongdoings am I refusing to forgive myself for? How does my shame make me feel? Why am I refusing to forgive myself? How can I release my shame? How can I move forward? How can I forgive myself?”
Very often we were drowning ourselves in shame and self-judgment without examining the various emotional layers within. When we look deeper, we become more mindful of our emotional patterns. We start to break up the shame that was keeping us stuck and holding us hostage. We start to develop our awareness and increase our mindfulnesss, which help us to examine our shame so that we can fully process it and finally forgive ourselves.
Corner Canyon Recovery’s foundation is client-centered, relational, and empathic to the addict and their family and loved ones. We create an atmosphere of caring and respect which enables clients to feel comfortable and to settle in quickly and do the work that is necessary for recovery. Call 1-866-399-3469 today.