Sam doesn't realize it, but a victim is lurking inside him. Though he wears a sunny disposition outside, inside, the perky 52-year-old father is resigned to three ideas:
1. "It's too late in my life to go back to college like I always wanted to. I'd look ridiculous, and who has the time for that?"
2. "My ex-wife is to blame for my financial problems and my children's disrespectful behavior."
3. "No matter what I do—no matter how hard I work or how much inner work I do on myself—things are not ever going to change for me."
Quite a life sentence he's given himself: hopelessness and weakness, twin offspring of the same poisonous origin known as "Trigger Thoughts" and "Victimhood."
When we operate from a victim mentality, we give the power to create our own life to someone else, and then we moan about how controlling the other is. To avoid taking responsibility, we create (and protect at all costs!) the dangerous illusion that we are always right. We blame others for our...
Every time Grace, a loving single parent, took time for herself, she returned
home with an awful sinking feeling. She didn’t understand why. “I had so much fun, and I'm proud of myself for making time for myself,” Grace thought to herself. Rather than expand from the joyous experience, or receive the delight and enthusiasm of her self-care, she contracted.
Grace’s contraction comes from the experience of shame, a poison that keeps us from experiencing our own joy and disconnects us from the aliveness within and around us. Whereas guilt is associated with a particular memory or situation and having done something wrong, the feeling of shame is about being wrong at our core. It is a debilitating feeling we have about ourselves that comes from a core belief that we are fundamentally flawed.
Sources of Shame
The poison that is the root of shame is absorbed in early childhood. As a
result of not being seen and loved for who we are, we develop the belief that we are...