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Carry No Shame

Shame is a currency of powerlessness. Words laden with its weight are tossed about by people who feel powerless in themselves, often because of their own unconscious shame. Shame is crippling, incapacitating, isolating. It can be nebulous and difficult to pin down, and therefore difficult to resolve. Better not to accept its burden in the first place, if you have the choice.


Shame lurks in the shadow of the psyche. Perhaps it is the shadow, cast by the tree of self-judgement, grown from the seed of self-doubt. A seed that may have been planted long ago (even generations ago) in response to the judgement of others, or perhaps some idea of moral authority.


Shame is a false morality. The secret to freedom from shame is a study of intrinsic ethics. This takes patience, but it can ultimately uproot the tree of self-judgement altogether.


We may begin such a study by fostering the aspiration to do no harm to others. From here, we develop our capacity for empathy. This gives us the ability to feel into the harm our actions cause others. With empathy, we can develop a capacity for genuine remorse.


Remorse is very different from shame - it carries no lingering sense of self-judgement. It may still feel uncomfortable, but it is much more responsive, much more workable. Remorse gives us the motivation to change our behaviour so that our actions may serve others rather than cause them harm.

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