Work with shame to find happiness

“You cannot selectively numb your feelings. If you want peace and happiness for example, you cannot have either of them without acknowledging, in reality, what we deem to be the negative feelings as well. We must be real. The truth must set us free. Not half truths”, says Mark L Lockwood, Scientific and spiritual therapist at The Center for Healing and Spiritual Transformation in Plettenberg Bay.

Many people speak of how happiness has always alluded them. They speak of how fleeting their happiness can be and describe how it never lasts. But you cannot consciously or sub-consciously numb the pain and expect only gain. Life is difficult. It does come with both suffering and happiness. We overcome the suffering. We work with shame to find happiness. We grow from it. We become more loving, empathetic and resilient from it. That is the base upon which our happiness is built says Mark.

Feelings of shame can be changed into finding emotional success for yourself!  Since shame is learned, it can be unlearned and replaced by more positive attitudes, behaviours and feelings.  We can lessen our feelings of shame by understanding their roots, by acknowledging that we feel shame, and by consciously changing shame-related behaviours. Beliefs about our self, learned either early in childhood or later in life, tend to persist even when our old-thinking and behavior has stopped.

As we work with shame to find happiness, we see as children we tend to believe what adults teach us, particularly when these adults are considered trustworthy – such as parents, clergy or teachers.  As adolescents, we modify our attitudes based on our experiences.  Thus, if we are faced with continued failures, criticism, and our own early emotional defence mechanisms and  behaviours, we soon learn to devalue our worth. We try to compensate through work and business sure. But that is not sustainable.

Children and adolescents, by the nature of their youth, lack the necessary skills, knowledge and emotional stability to understand the complexity of their attitudes and feelings.  Consequently, we aren’t responsible for how we were treated in the past or how we learned early on to feel about ourselves.  In essence, we are not responsible for our childhood.  By nature, childhood is characterised by powerlessness.

The same is true for psychological as we work with shame to find happiness, emotional and compulsive behaviours.  If you can relate to this, best you read on! Some of us have experienced obsessions and compulsive behaviours that have invaded every part of our personality; others of us have experienced a loss of control over certain behaviours such as drinking, sex or gambling.  All of us have faced and felt the continued defeat and destruction from our inability to change our behaviour.  Firm resolve and willpower alone have often resulted in dismal failure.  Although we wanted the pain of our self-defeating behaviour to stop, we were powerless.  Like children, we were powerless in our attempts to control the complexities of our attitudes, feelings and emotional issues. We work with shame to find happiness so that things can add up, and finally come together. That’s what life, like healing is really all about.

It is only by accepting our powerlessness as adults that we are empowered allow Healing and Personal Transformation.  As self actualizing people, we are more aware of our feelings and can make conscious choices about what we think and how we behave.  Shame is perpetuated by our belief systems.  No matter when, where or how we learned them, these shame-based attitudes are now our own.

The judge within who represents our perfectionistic strivings to control can be disputed, diminished and eventually kicked off the bench!  The judge’s rule is not absolute and can be diffused with persistent opposition based on logic and reason. You will learn more about the Judge side of self as a saboteur shortly in The Center for Healing and Spiritual Transformation. Come and heal your depression, anxiety, food disorders and bad habits with us. Recover from burn-out and stress and work with shame to find happiness. Call +27824424779 or email info@sanctuaryplett.co.za

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