On shame and being carefree

A deep sense of wrongness is often the result in our adult lives if, when we were small, we were told to behave in a certain way by our parents. For example, if they couldn't contain our joy and energy, and they told us it was bad to take up so much space. Maybe the message was to concentrate on our homework or just behave properly. Do you recognize it? I do.

It leaves a heavy burden of shame that lingers. Shame about being too much or wrong or even 'I shouldn't exist at all'. You may experience it as a fear of punishment while having the best time, even though you are now an adult. Or a shadow that follows you and reminds you that you are wrong.

Shame is such an unpleasant feeling that we usually do everything to avoid it. And so, we limit our room for maneuvering. If, for example, we always do our duties and rarely allow ourselves fun and making e a fuss, we can keep it at bay. So maybe you're thinking, 'shame? I never experience shame'. At the same time, ask yourself: When was the last time I laughed I wet my pants? Can I take a whole day without practical chores and enjoy it? What kinds of behavior are unthinkable to me? Is it something I'm actually keeping myself away from, even if I wanted to?

The good news is that the active wounds of shame can be healed. Shame cannot persist when met with warm curious empathy. Make sure you have people around you who make time for you and who welcome your innocence and laugh and cry with you when you share your embarrassing and painful memories. Not as in "It's nothing to be ashamed of" (because then we can become ashamed of the shame), but more along the lines of "Oh yes, was there a moment when you would have liked the floor to open under your feet and swallow you? I'll jump into the hole with you. Then we can enjoy ourselves there", or "Yes, it stinks to be afraid of others turning away from us". Recognition.

You are innocent.

If you're afraid of being too much/too little/too big/too small/too boring/too bragging (continue the list!), then your family's window of tolerance has probably been a bit narrow. If you manage to send your family members a wave of love, then sometimes it helps, so that you can go on in carefree skipping and jumping.