So Angie Writes – Life's A Challenge, So Angie Writes!

So Angie Writes – Life's A Challenge, So Angie Writes!

Trauma Recovery – Shame Resilience – Self-Compassion – Coping With Chronic Pain

Monday Mantra – Deconstructing Harmful Beliefs (Shame)

October 26, 2015 | 6 Comments

Monday Mantra - Deconstructing Harmful Beliefs (Shame) by
Today I woke late, and trudged downstairs to a messy kitchen.

“This place is a mess. It should be clean. Why can’t I get it clean? I’m home all the time, so why isn’t it clean? I am lazy and incompetent. I suck at homemaking. I suck at life.”

Readers, how did that make you feel, to read what went through my head this morning? Did you wince at the judgement? Recognize the shame? Did you relate?

Mondays are a good time to revisit intentions. Intentions are value-based. I value a healthy life, full of communication and connection. To support that value, I am committed to shame resilience.

The shame messages in my head sound like me, but it’s important to know that shame begins outside of us, usually early on. Think parents and teachers (no judgement, parents and teachers! I am a parent and was a teacher and a para, and I KNOW most of us are doing our best!). Later in life, we have lovers and partners, and ex-lovers and ex-partners, who add shame stories to our loop. We also have bosses and friends, and ex-friends and enemies, and let’s not forget we live under an umbrella of cultural myths, societal norms, and media lies. We’re fucked! 

Except we aren’t.

Once we learn what shame is (the painful feeling of being unworthy of love and belonging) we can begin to recognize it in our internal dialogues, and start breaking it down. One way I am building shame resilience is by being willing to work at deconstructing faulty thinking and harmful beliefs (i.e. shame messages).

A messy kitchen is a shame trigger for me, but this voice in my head about sucking at life because my kitchen is messy didn’t come from me. Where did it come from? A few places, including several T.V. shows. When I realize “I suck” isn’t something I came up with, it opens the possibility for healing. There is now a chance that this message isn’t true. There’s now an opportunity for me to believe something different, something healthier, something like…

“Wowza! The kitchen is a mess. We cooked a great meal last night, and relaxed afterward. We chose playing over cleaning. I might need some help getting this cleaned up today.”

Oh my stars! That narrative feels loads better in my brain and body! I just took a deep breath, and I let it out again! Amazing!

I am committed to a shame-resilient life, full of communication and connection. I choose to tune into the shame messages that keep me from living my values. I am willing to deconstruct my faulty thinking and harmful beliefs, today, and every day.

Thanks for reading. I’m always willing to discuss shame with you, and hold space with you, as we work to build resilience. <3

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6 people are talking about “Monday Mantra – Deconstructing Harmful Beliefs (Shame)

  1. Very well written. I have my own shame demons, and yes a messy house and messy kitchen is one of them too. It’s been drilled into our minds for centuries that the woman is the creator of a home. Fuck it. I cook everyday home-made meals and there is always pile of dishes, but we eat healthy and the meals are nice and I am not defined by how my house stands in comparison to others. And yet I still get an anxiety panic driven by shame when somebody unannounced rings the bell and the house is a mess. I am scared of being judged. I guess I need to let it go. Thank you for your article, it inspired me ;).

    • Angie

      Fuck it, indeed! 😀 Thank you for adding your voice and shame experiences to this space. I am grateful. Knowing that a messy house is one of my shame triggers is helping me become more shame-resilient. I am also affected by rushing around, and my parenting, and by having strong emotions and crying in front of people. Oh, also I’m triggered by chronic pain flare days. Oh my! Shame runs deep and wide in my life. It’s hard, but thankfully there are strategies I can use to become healthier. Speaking out here is one of them, and you speaking back with empathy and “me too!” is another. So thank you. <3

  2. I’ve been working through similar things actually on the same topic! I’ve been dealing with a lot of shame over having a lot of fatigue when I’ve been home. Being mostly in remission for most of my issues I am still holding my body to old standards. It takes a minute to back away and recognize that despite being very sick A LOT, and on tons of meds I’m kicking butt at work, and pulling my own weight in other ways. It is so easy to fall into shame talk, you crystallized it very well.

    • Angie

      I know that your work helps many people, and your blog posts as well. I appreciate you. These shame feelings and stories are so hard to contend with. I like what you say about backing away. It sounds like a way I want to practice mindfulness, by backing up, and distancing myself from the narrative, and taking a moment. Thank you for that. I’m wishing you well.

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