Excerpt About Shame

Shame and Vulnerability
As we have seen, the main reason we engage in meddling, resistance, and defense is that we’re afraid that if we’re vulnerable, if we’re open, if we allow ourselves to just simply be where we are, we will not be safe. Many people these days blame their insecurity on terrorism in the world. But the actual lack of safety is more a result of the terrorism that is inside your mind—the internal saboteurs. Our primary fear is that if we are open and let ourselves be where we are, we’re going to be belittled. We’re going to be rejected. We’re going to be humiliated. We’re going to be attacked. We’re going to be judged. We’re going to be criticized. We’re going to be shamed. We’re going to be made to feel guilty. We’re afraid that other people will do these things to us and sometimes that actually happens. But more often, we do these things to ourselves. Have you ever said to yourself, “If I really let myself be vulnerable, I feel so delicate, sweet, and innocent. If people notice that, they will judge me as good for nothing”? Or maybe you’ve thought, “If I feel that sweet innocence, I’m going to get embarrassed. I’m going to be humiliated. It means I’m not strong. Somebody is going to reject me or shame me.” These worries are usually a projection onto other people of our own inner terrorist that’s scaring us.

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