As I have mentioned already elsewhere: There is a powerful antidote to shame. And that is the feeling of connection. This makes particular sense if we remember what shame actually is.
Shame is, first and foremost, a “normal” human emotion. It controls the intensity of exchange that we have experience with our environment. If we perceive our environment as rather hostile or negative, we withdraw. If our environment is welcoming and nurturing, we feel safe and open wide.
Shame comes into play when we don’t feel safe and welcome. When we feel we’ve done something wrong, have broken rules. When we expect criticism, rejection or hurt. Our usual reaction to this is fear.
But how, you may ask, can connection be the antidote if we haven’t had it in our life ?
There are two answers: one is internal and the other one external.
On one hand, we can make sure we connect to ourselves. Through meditation, contemplation, mindful physical activity and awareness.
On the other hand, we can go and look out for connection. Often, it is not easy to find in our familiar surroundings. Sometimes we need to put our feelers out further. Look for new people, new Groups.
Sometimes the first person to reconnect to is a therapist. Sometimes an animal.
What’s crucial is that they mitigate our fear of abandonment.
Power of Thought
We can also imagine being connected (this is what hypnotherapy techniques are built upon). If I’ve come to realise one thing in the past few months, it’s this: Our mind and imagination can be our best ally – or our worst enemy.
It is up to us what we focus on, where we turn towards. Trying the same things over and over again with the same people will certainly not get us anywhere if it was unsuccessful in the first place. Someone (Einstein?!) once said that we can never solve a problem in the context in which it arose. We have to think outside the box. Bring in new things, new people, new situations.
This gives us the chance for new experiences.
I also believe that the last few months have reminded us – sometimes painfully – of how vitally we need each other. This especially applies to physical contact.
Family of Choice
I can proudly say that I have recorded my first meditation. And this meditation is about connection. With the right people. With your chosen family.
Have a listen!