Is Shame Keeping You Down?
Susan* wanted to lose weight. A lot of weight. About 100 plus pounds. She was only about 5’3 and the extra weight put an awful strain on her joints.
She often complained of knee pain, which made exercise a challenge. She was also convinced that the weight was interfering with her love life.
Susan would come into my office and we’d meditate to reduce her stress and discuss different ways that she could use mindful living practices to help her to be more present when eating.
One common technique I suggested was to keep a food journal. Susan had been through overeaters anonymous so it was a tool she was used to using.
Weeks went by, and every time I saw Susan, she didn’t have her journal filled out. She wanted to lose weight, but didn’t follow through with the practices that would help her.
I pressed Susan, looking for the unconscious reason she was sabotaging what she wanted. Exasperated, she threw up her hands and said, “Because I’m ashamed!” It was such an amazing moment. Susan and I both realized that she was surprised by her own answer.
One thing that I’ve discovered is when you are eager to make a change in your life, and the change isn’t happening, is to look inside yourself and search for the feeling of shame.
For example, Susan wanted to be 150 lbs. lighter than she was currently. To get there, she would have to change her mental habits along with her eating and exercise habits. The problem was the shame she was feeling kept her from making the change she so desperately wanted.
Shame distracts you from being fully present.
For a long time I felt so much shame around my finances, that I wouldn’t look at them. I’d just spend, and spend, not knowing where the money was coming from or where it was going. Eventually, the desire to create a new more empowered financial future forced me to put away my shame and look, really look at my financial picture.
Do you want financial freedom? Emotional freedom? More cooperation and peace in your life? Better, healthier relationships? You can have it all, and more. The price you have to pay is to put your shame away, look at where you are now, take stock, and then plot your course.
You can do it. You’re up to the challenge. You’re bigger than any issue. You have what it takes to make the changes you need.