Shame: How you can avoid it, or should you?

You ever feel shame?

Shame, what does it feel like?

You ever get that feeling in your belly?

That sinking feeling?

Like your stomach is going to collapse in on itself tearing you asunder?

That intense feeling of burning, you’re blood never feels more red hot under your skin than it does now?

You feel like your blood is so hot. You feel it behind your eyes in your cheeks, you feel like it’s going to come out in the form of steam. It’s almost the exact same feeling as being intensely angry only it changes how you act. Whereas anger makes you want to move about more and start shouting here you get the opposite effect.

That’s shame.

That feeling can be brought on by many different circumstances. You and I probably feel shame over different, but the feeling is the same.

All you want the ground to open up and swallow you whole. You want everyone in the immediate vicinity to stop noticing you and shut up. Shame can be one of the worst feelings in the world. Feeling ashamed makes you want to run away from the earth itself and become a hermit. You want to hide your face from the crowd forever.

Shame and guilt are neighbours, but shame is the deadlier of the two. You heard the expression, they died of shame. You never heard the phrase, they died of guilt. Maybe the shame of the guilt caused them to die, but guilt can’t do a job on its own the way shame can.

Shame is an intense negative emotion.

I used to

There used to be certain activities that would make me feel shame. When I was younger, it was watching the classic channel 5 late night Friday movie. You know, such classics from the 1970’s as The Ups and Downs of A Handy Man. Where the eponymous handyman is fixing the roof. The policeman is trying to spy on the softcore exploits, falls over.

I used to feel ashamed watching that because back then when I was a teenager, I was religious. You were told that all those sorts of things are sinful and should be avoided. I was a hormonal teenager who could not resist the appetites of the flesh, so I felt ashamed. Then it came out that many of the priests couldn’t resist in far worse ways. Somehow watching some 80-minute movie once a week then I didn’t feel shame so much after that.

Then after that, I would feel shame over certain things that I still did that I thought that I shouldn’t do anymore. Playing video games and still be working in a cinema but the universe is a beautiful thing in that regard. You see other people not only doing this stuff but is having a sense of pride about it too.

After that, I learned not to worry so much about feeling ashamed.

Here in the west, it would appear that there is nothing to feel ashamed off.

Shame is like offence.

I’ve never understood the whole “shame is bad” thing I mean is it that terrible?

Shame is an emotion that you feel yourself, no one can force it on you.

How many times has someone said to you, “You should feel ashamed of yourself”. Or “Have you no shame” and you have thought “No, I don’t feel ashamed”.

The feeling is like offence. Offence is taken but never given. If you don’t want to be offended by something, just don’t find it offensive. It may sound simple, but you can choose not to be offended by something.

An excellent way to avoid being offended or feeling shame is to acknowledge the feeling when it hits you. Then say to yourself “Thoughts and ideas that challenge my perception and I am thankful to learn”.

Notice as you read that I didn’t tell you not to say “I feel no shame” that’s because you need to phrase things positively. When you phrase things negatively, you get negative results. You know, it’s similar to “Don’t think of Pink elephants” You know what as you’re reading these words let’s see if I can make you feel a little uncomfortable. You can only appreciate comfort when you know the opposite.

A little mental movie experiment.

Read on at your own risk.

Do not read on.

Do not think of a big thick, veiny cock that could be mistaken for a topographical map of Iraq. Definitley do not think of a cock the length of a ruler with the girth of a coke can.

If I made you feel uncomfortable, you’re welcome.

If you like the thought of one of those bad boys rubbing against the sensitive taste buds of your tongue, folding back your uvula as your eyes widen and you quickly learn how to breathe through your nose. You’re also welcome.

Just don’t do anything that would make you feel shame.

You know that the alternative to not wanting to feel shame?

It’s simple, don’t do the thing that makes you feel ashamed in the first place.

Trying to get the world to change to fit your needs is a noble pursuit, but you aren’t going to change the minds of everyone.

Especially when you consider that there are people who are shameless in raising awareness about health.

If someone you cared about was drinking themselves to death, would you feel shame asking them to cut it out?

You would be met with resistance but eventually, they would either take a look at themselves or die. It’s a win-win, you either get to have your friend around for longer, or you get to be right.

If you feel shame about some of your lifestyle choices it’s not society, it’s you. So maybe you have to stop shaming yourself.

You don’t see as many skinny people drinking diet Coke, do you?

Shame can be a good thing.

You can use your shame and transform it into something positive.

Here’s an example of someone who did that.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as a starting bodybuilder had a tremendous upper physique. Arnold was less than happy, thought that his legs were underdeveloped.

What do you think he did?

You think that he went around telling people not to look at or mention his legs?

Think that he asked the rules of Mr Universe be changed because he didn’t like.

You know how this story ends.

He shamed himself into developing his legs. He wore shorts. Every time he looked down he reminded himself to work harder until he was no longer ashamed of his legs.

Some shame can do a world of good.

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