Today we ask that you look at the ways in which you experience shame.

For the most part, the experience of shame is not useful in any way.

It is one thing to feel a sense of remorse when one has consciously or unconsciously brought about harm to another being.  This feeling can be useful, in the sense that it is useful to make amends with someone you have harmed.  

However, most shame is not useful.  Most shame is in fact quite toxic — for it essentially a negation of life.  One feels ashamed of one’s self.  One feels ashamed of others.  This is actually a terribly violent, harmful energy.

This kind of existential shame negates life.  It says: “I should not be this person.  I am ashamed of who I am.”

This form of shame leads to great harm.  Parents who feel existential shame inevitably project that shame on to their children.  Parents feel ashamed of their children, just for being who they are.  Healthy children become stunted in a shame-based environment, like plants sprayed with a toxic substance.  They do not know why their parents always seem ashamed of them.  They do not understand that it is because the parents are ashamed of themselves.  So the children ingest this toxic idea that something is wrong with them on an existential level.  They grow up with this belief.  If they do not liberate themselves from it, they will in turn spread it to their own children, and the cycle will continue.

Please know that you have nothing to be ashamed of.

You are intrinsically good, and deserving of love.  There is nothing you have done or not done that changes this in any way.

Shame kills people.  This is so.  Most suicides are a result of shame.  Many people suffer physical and mental illness because of shame.  People are cut off from the life force because of shame.  They do not feel worthy of life itself; and so, through the power of their subconscious minds, they actually block life energy.  This can be a cause of chronic sickness — like chronic fatigue, or autoimmune disorders.  Autoimmune disorders are literally a case in which the self attacks the self.  An overpowering sense of shame is very often one of the root causes of these terrible afflictions.

If you feel remorse, make amends.  

Beyond that, you have nothing to be ashamed of.  Truly, you have nothing to be ashamed of.  Let go of your shame.  Let go of your shame.

Know that being ashamed of yourself does not make you a virtuous person.  Quite the opposite.  People with a strong sense of existential shame often project shame onto other people.  In the case of parents who do this to children, it is terribly damaging.  There is absolutely nothing virtuous about it.

Again, this is not to say you should be an insensitive, uncaring person.  Far from it!

Having a healthy self-regard will not make you into a jerk.  Jerks do not have a healthy self-regard.

Having a healthy self-regard just means knowing and owning that you are good, lovable, and deserving of all the life force that is bestowed upon you.  You feel no existential shame, but know that you are good because life itself is good.  Such a being is in all ways a blessing to her fellow men.  She accepts herself, so therefore she accepts others.  Everyone feels good around such a person.

Do not carry around a heavy burden of shame.  If you need to make amends with someone, do so.  The rest you must let go.  (And maybe it is yourself you need to make amends with.)