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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guilt or Shame? What's The Difference?

Lately I've been reading Lissa Rankin's lovely book Mind Over Medicine, and yesterday, listening to Cheryl Richardon's presentation on The Tapping World Summit.  (If you'd like to check out the Tapping World Summit, sign up here--no charge: http://thetappingsolution.com/2014VideoSeries/.)

Both women talk about how guilt and shame affect our lives, and how we can move beyond them.  It occurred to me that we sometimes use guilt and shame interchangeably.  Yet they're not the same.  And the difference for our lives is profound.

Put very simply, guilt is the feeling we experience when we feel bad about something we did.  Shame is the deep sense of despair and self-rejection we experience when we feel that we are bad--flawed--unlovable.

Some guilt is healthy.  We need to realize when we've done something we can make amends for, change or learn from.  Healthy guilt is that signal to make change.

Guilt that we learned from our family, from our childhood when we didn't know better, or from something we're really not responsible for is different.  We can consider where it might have come from, and release it.  If it's not 'our' guilt, we don't really need to allow it to control us.  Often, we've been taught to feel guilty if we don't constantly try to please others or always put their happiness ahead of ours.

         Shame, on the other hand, is frequently an irrational belief about our own worthlessness that fills us with self-judgment and sometimes self hate.  It really doesn't serve us. Worse yet, it can drive us to do things we'll then feel guilty for.

And it, too, often comes from family or cultural legacies that aren't really about us

Whether you feel controlled by guilt, shame, or both, you can change and release these feelings. Cheryl Richardson speaks of making it a project for yourself.

If you'd like help from a compassionate, accepting person to support you with this project,
contact me by email or phone.  We'll discuss how I can support you in your path.
9:25 am cst          Comments

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 Meridian tapping techniques are currently considered complementary health approaches, not mainstream Western medicine. For current studies on EFT, TFT and other meridian tapping techniques, visit http://www.energypsych.org/?Research_Landing.  EFT and Meridian Tapping is not therapy or medicine.  My services are educational; I'm not a therapist, counselor or healthcare professional. I don't diagnose or treat. Tapping is not intended to take the place of psychological or medical care; it is intended to help you relieve stress to experience greater well-being.  Please consult a doctor or therapist for medical or psychological counseling needs.

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