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What Triggers Your Shame?

So awhile ago I talked about shame. These were some of my most popular podcasts. And I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if talking about feeling like shit would be all that compelling. But apparently it is! If you can relate to my version of shittiness, that is. And I think most people can, in one form or another.

So I promised I’d talk about shame more about as I learn how to deal with it, let it go, overcome, or whatever happens such that its not the prevalent emotion in my life anymore.

Even Cats Feel Shame...

Even Cats Feel Shame...

And almost 6 months later, its largely not. Its not gone, but its not the #1 thing I feel when I wake up in the morning. That’s new and different. Almost uneasy, because while the shame felt terrible, it was familiar.

So here’s something I’ve realized – shame is an emotion. Emotions come and go. But feelings don’t just come from nowhere, something triggers them, whether or not we’re aware. (And most people are unaware, I was up until recently… and still sometimes.)

Which to me means identifying when the feeling of shame is triggered and what did I see/do/hear/say/remember that brought up that emotion.

And it turns out there are some sexual things that used to cause me a lot of shame. But that really don’t anymore.

At the same time, there are some sexual things that I still do feel ashamed of. Even when my logical brain says everything’s fine, and I wouldn’t judge anyone else for it.

So today I talk more about what I’ve noticed about shame, how it comes and goes, and what I’ve done to let it go.

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Edited: June 3rd, 2014

Remember This When You Feel Pain, Shame, or Fear…

Whether you’re scared your partner won’t accept your fantasies, worried about how your body looks, feel deep shame from a religious upbringing, or any million other things that could be a “problem” in your sex life – remember these words…

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know…nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion. Perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. Maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. But what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. If we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. It just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves. ”

— Pema Chödrön

Edited: June 1st, 2014