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Let’s talk about Guilt and Shame: A Personal Reflection

According to David Hawkins' vibration scale of emotions, shame and guilt are considered the two lowest emotions. Despite their universality, few people openly discuss them. In this personal reflection, I delve into the reasons behind this silence and share my own journey in grappling with guilt and shame. Through my experiences, I aim to highlight the importance of addressing and releasing these emotions to foster personal growth and emotional well-being.

During my early childhood, I became intimately acquainted with guilt and shame. This may seem surprising for a child. However, when societal expectations don’t align with our own reality and authentic selves, disappointment ensues. Not knowing who I really was, I learned to identify with my exterior world, which was far from perfect, and shame became one of my closest companions. At that moment, I felt powerless and believed I had no way of changing my environment or myself. I was trapped.

It is astonishing how shame and guilt, such unpleasant and low-vibrating emotions, can infiltrate even the youngest minds, which are inherently pure love. I vividly recall feeling consumed by anger at times and resenting my parents for not being “normal”. I felt isolated and lonely. Moreover, I experienced tremendous shame and guilt for not being able to release that anger.

Seeking a way out, I discovered that there were no readily available explanations or guidance on how to combat shame and guilt. As the years passed, these emotions grew with me, manifesting in different forms, creating a vicious cycle. I made "bad" choices land felt shame and guilt about it. Then, I would feel even more shame and guilt for experiencing shame and guilt.

The weight of those emotions became so burdensome that even when I first sought help and started going to therapy, I felt the need to hide certain experiences and feelings due to the overwhelming fear of being judged. Society's dogmas and false beliefs had become internalized, labeling me as inherently flawed or broken, making it difficult to envision an alternative path. I felt trapped in that mess.

By my early twenties, I was struggling immensely to break free from this negative cycle. Growing up as a Mexican Jewish woman, I had ingrained beliefs that marriage (to another Jew) was one of the most important goals, if not the most important goal, I should pursue. As my twenties turned into my thirties and I remained unmarried, I started losing confidence and self-esteem. I constantly focused on what was wrong with me instead of recognizing my own worth. From this lower vibration, I made choices that kept me vibrating low, feeling insecure, and questioning if love was even available to me.

Feeling lost and disconnected from myself, I embarked on a journey to find answers and a way out of that hole. I discovered that there was actually nothing to be ashamed of because nothing and no one outside of myself define me. Despite my confusion about who I was, I knew I was a good person, a kind person, an honest person—I was someone to be proud of. I learned to disassociate from the narrative and the expectations people had of me. I realized I was my own individual, allowed to question the beliefs and absolute truths I had been told. And so, I questioned it ALL. I came to my own conclusions, set my own goals, and became the person I wanted to be. I took control of my narrative and started building the life I wanted to live, embracing every single detail.

As I let go of shame, I also learned to let go of guilt. I turned that coin around and found responsibility. I wholeheartedly understood that I was the only one responsible for my life, my decisions, my thoughts, and my actions. I embarked on a journey of learning, healing, and growth, and it has been one heck of a ride. Looking back, I can honestly say that I wouldn't change a thing because now I know that there is nowhere to be other than on this journey. My journey is my destination, and I have been here all along.

Even now, at 38 years old, I occasionally encounter individuals who, unintentionally, attempt to shame me for deviating from societal norms. Instead of feeling threatened or attacked as I used to, I now empathize with them. I recognize that whatever I am doing differently than they expected makes them question their own beliefs. They may not know they can choose to change those beliefs or perhaps they feel more comfortable not even questioning them. Either way, there is a fear of not being “right,” and from that fear arises the need to judge me or my actions as "wrong".

With this newfound understanding, knowing we are all on a collective journey of self-discovery and emotional liberation, I propose that we pave our paths to personal growth with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. By comprehending the weight of shame and guilt, we can confront and release these emotions, allowing ourselves to move forward and embrace our true selves. By being aware of this, we can extend our understanding to others, refraining from shaming those who think differently and celebrating the richness of diverse perspectives. As we navigate the complexities of life, let us choose responsibility over guilt, recognizing that our actions shape our growth and contribute to our own betterment and that of those around us. Together, let us nurture an environment where authenticity, compassion, and personal growth flourish, empowering us to navigate our own journeys side by side with one another.

What do you all think? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you and until next time 🫶🏻



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