People often confuse shame and guilt. Although they may have some similarities, they are not the same emotion. . Guilt is a feeling about something you have done wrong. Guilt is what we feel when we have inadvertently or intentionally hurt someone, and later regret it, but can't get past having caused the injury. . For the well meaning and psychologically healthy person, feeling guilty leads to asking forgiveness and making amends. . Shame is the feeling that there is something irrevocably wrong with you. . Shame is what we feel when we've been subjected to others' judgments and criticisms, and it damages the psyche so badly that we reach the conclusion that we can never be good enough, or will never be able to overcome the huge flaw we are burdened with. . It is possible to have both guilt and shame. From my experience and training, I have to say that guilt is much easier to heal than shame.
Healing shame requires
changing beliefs about your self
expanding your definition of normal
seeing the beauty in imperfection
having lovingkindness for yourself
claiming your power
taking small risks to challenge the fear
getting support from people who encourage you
owning all the ways that you are more than good enough
As you can see, healing shame can be a complex process. It's never to late to start.
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