Maddie’s Shame Story
A few years ago, I remember having a conversation with
my late daughter, Maddie. She was probably around 19
at the time.
She was feeling very insecure and bad about herself,
rejecting herself. I asked her, “How would you feel if
you were all alone on a deserted island? Would you
feel the same?”
She thought about it and quickly said with surprise,
“No I wouldn’t have any of that. I wouldn’t feel bad at all!”
It helped us both realize that shame is coming from our
perception of what we think others are thinking about us,
that we are a bad person, selfish, irresponsible, etc. If we
take the characters out of our story, everything changes,
and we DO feel differently about ourselves.
Where Does the Bad Feeling Come From?
Is the bad feeling coming from THEM or US? Well,
it’s always coming from us, but it can feel very real that
THEY are creating it FOR US.
Morgan gives another example: what would you do if
your brother accuses you of being a murderer? If this
weren’t true, would you get upset, or just laugh about it?
Most of us would think it’s ridiculous and move on. But
what if he said, “You’re a pathetic mother and you should
be ashamed of yourself for how selfish you’ve been with
raising your kids!”
This might cause an emotional hiccup because deep down,
perhaps you have some mom guilt/shame, like many us do.
You might “take this belief on” in your psyche because you
suspect the judgment is true.
What Triggers Your Shame?
The other day my husband, Steve, made some comment
about wanting to spend more quality time with me. My
immediate inner response was shame, “I’m not prioritizing
my time well, I’m selfish, and one day I’ll have regrets, just
like I do with Maddie.”
He wasn’t trying to make me feel bad, but that’s what
happened. Then when the shame is triggered, we want to
But if I was alone on a deserted island and knew that my
friends and family weren’t judging, rejecting, or betraying
me, and that I couldn’t hurt them, I would go about
my business and probably not feel ashamed or guilty.
It’s not realistic to live on an island by ourselves, and nor
would we want to. We want to be able to live in the world
and have healthy connections.
The point of this message is that it IS POSSIBLE to change
our perception of reality and begin advocating for ourselves,
regardless of what has happened in our past. We can
forgive ourselves and find peace within so that we are
no longer so easily triggered by others’ judgments.
We Are Controlled by Shame
We are controlled by our SHAME. We are restricted in our
freedom to be ourselves because we try very hard to manage
others perception of us. We do this because of a deep-seated
belief that we aren’t good enough (shame).
TIP: Notice and get present with the gap between HOW YOU ACT
NOW and how you would act if there was no perception of criticism,
judgement, rejection, by others or yourself.
Create a New Inner Diaglog
Ask yourself – “What am I afraid of happening if I start to take
action and get closer to version of me that exists with no worries
of other people’s judgments/reactions of me? Are they REALLY
going to reject me if I stand up for myself? Is what I’m afraid of really
going to happen, or am I blowing this up in my mind?”
And maybe if they truly rejected you, then they aren’t your
peeps! And they don’t have your best interest in mind, and it’s
time to take a firm stand for YOU.
Morgan and I want to support you in learning to EXPRESS
your true self. Go here to book a Loving Self-Advocate