Shame has only one purpose. To keep you from doing the unthinkable. What is unthinkable behavior? Murder, torture, sexual abuse of other living creature.
Guilt is the gate keeper to shame. But being the humans we are, both guilt and shame are two edged swords cutting us needlessly or cutting us free of needed restraints.
Confession: I tell white lies, use the F word when my last nerve is stepped on, buy one lottery ticket a week and look at the answers when stuck on a cross word puzzle. More seriously, I eat meat.
Should I be shamed? I think not. I work at kindness and protest violence.
Eating meat gives me pause, but I make amends by advocating as does the Torah for treating animals as kindly as possible. I also follow the habit of some First Nation tribes and thank animals for their gifts to me. I even say a little prayer for road kill.
What others think I should be ashamed of:
- Thinking of doing bad things – Lusting in my heart, wishing revenge on those who hurt me or others I care about.
- Being the religion I am – Some would kill me for this.
- Being the political persuasion I seem to be. Actually, my political beliefs are all over the place. I am not a conservative, a leftist, a libitarian, a socialist, a communist, or a capitalist. I am a mixed bag voter.
- Being old.
- Being a bit sexual in dress and thought.
- The big M. Don’t know what that is? Masturbation. One of my books got banned for suggesting not attaching shame to M might just keep a teen from venturing too early into intercourse.
Not one of these “Shame On You” fingers involves murder, torture, or sexual abuse.
EMOTIONAL FITNESS THOUGHTS AND TIPS
When we fail to do what our educated hearts say is right, guilt and shame visit as the life trying to keep us on the right path. Useful, at times, but because our brains are programed to treat these two emotions as 911 calls over developed in most of us. Try to let go of shame and guilt with EFT’s on three step stomping shame and guilt dance.
First step: Check reality. That means assessing who was hurt, how, how much, and is the hurt on-going. Who are you killing, torturing, or sexually abusing intentionally?
For the vast majority of us, as I discussed above, the only grey area comes to play when dealing with animals. Advocate for kinder treatment of animals; if a hunter or fisherperson, hunt to feed yourself, family or others.
Second step: Think more about the un-intended ways you harm others. Use that knowledge to do better. Also use that knowledge to build compassion for all in your heart. We all do evil in one way or another.
Third step: Stop on-going hurtful behavior, make an amends for past hurts, practice self forgiveness, and go on.
Sounds easy? Of course. Most advice sounds easy, but is not. Practicing a Daily Emotional Fitness Exercise Program helps. Haven’t visited the EFTI Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises Page? Take a peek here. Learning the exercises takes a bit of effort, but once learned all can be practiced in a minute or less and provide a brief vacation from stress or other negative feelings.
Forgiveness is possibly the most important part of loosening the grip of useless shame and guilt. This poster coach walks you through a self forgiveness exercise.
Free down load this EFTI poster coaches downloads designed to improve Emotional Intelligence. Best printed up in color on card stock. they can be posted almost anywhere. Their intended audience? Anyone who wants to improve their emotional fitness or anyone else’s emotional intelligence. Parents, teachers, therapists, coaches, fitness trainers, school guidance counselors, preachers, and non-preachers.
As always thank you for all you do to Practice Kindness, a major emotional intelligence boosting practice. Liking, commenting, or sharing any social media you find helpful is one way to be kind. It may seem like a little, however, doing a little matters a lot.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
- Twelve Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (amazon.com)
- Becoming emotionally stronger (wikihow.com)
- 14 Tips For Becoming Emotionally Stronger (manner-of-happiness.com)
- WordPress Daily Prompt (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The EFTI Store (eftistore.com)
This post was inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt No Apologies: What’s the one guilty pleasure you have that’s so good, you no longer feel guilty about it?