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Check out the updated Web Site for Gentlekindness Coaching HERE
This is a great talk by Brene Brown.
She describes the difference between shame and guilt very elegantly here. She has done extensive research about shame, and states that it is a cause of depression, anxiety and suicide in most cultures.
She talks about shame as an epidemic in our culture and how the media and society program us for shame. The ads that tell us how we “should be,”
and what we “should be doing.” …to the people in our lives that expect us to live up to unreasonable standards.
Shame can come from abuse and emotional trauma in our childhoods, and in our adulthood experiences. Shame is programmed into us by others. You can re-wire the brain with thought patterns that are more supportive for you. Shame is a destroyer.
I believe that many mental disorders are based in shame. I work with abuse survivors that carry loads of shame from their past. Even when people come to the realization that they were abused, the shame does not just go away. In fact sometimes it becomes worse, during the healing process because old wounds are being opened up.
Walking through the programs that are in your brain is important, to be able to find the truth about yourself. You are a special, unique person.
You do not have to carry toxic shame with you.
You cannot change the past, but you can change the meaning of the memories that you carry of it.
The people that planted those seeds were just trying to meet their own agenda by keeping you down, and unsure of your value and place in the world.
Brene Brown makes the point that creativity, inventiveness, and change come from a place of vulnerability. Doing things that are different, and uniquely you means you have to be somewhat vulnerable.
The greatest minds of the world came up with original ideas and creations and discoveries. They were not always met with acceptance.
You do not have to follow the crowd. You have your own voice…you just have to find it and differentiate that authentic voice from the programs that were implanted into your brain. Shame is one of those programs that is no longer serving you.
Love the loving people. Share your kindness and love with people who are able to love and care for people. Waste not your loving energies on people who cannot love others.
Show compassion for those who have compassion and are capable of empathy with others. Loving people will fill your energies, rather than drain them.
The energy exchange between two loving people will raise both of them up to a higher consciousness level. You will feel like a part of them has been added to you. This will not cause them to lose anything.
Being kind and loving to another person who have love and compassion, will add part of yourself to them. They will carry part of you with them, but this will not cause you to lose anything.
If you feel you are being drained bu someone, be careful not to lose yourself in them. If this is a person incapable of empathy and compassion, then they will take from you and not give anything back.
Holding resentment for someone who abused you can be like a dark hole inside of you. Sharing love with loving people can help to fill this darkness with light. The more light you carry with you, the more it will surround you. Others will feel the warmth of this light that is being generated by your spirit.
If you have PTSD or an anxiety disorder, some days you have to take breaks between your tasks. Different people are triggered by different things and becoming overloaded can result in a complete meltdown or panic attack.
Pushing through your day without a break to calm yourself will drain you. It can take a lot of energy to do errands and activities, when you are being exposed to triggers in your environment.
Being sleep deprived can add to your anxiety. It is important to find ways to get enough rest and sleep. If anxiety keeps you from sleeping well at night, your body and your brain may require naps during the day. Self care is important.
If you need breaks between doing things, try to think ahead to plan enough time to take them. Be gentle and adaptable with yourself.
You are your own best advocate. Draw boundaries when you need them. Think of how you would treat a friend in circumstances like the ones you are in at the time, if your friend also suffered from PTSD.
Sometimes it gives some perspective to think of what allowances and flexibility you would offer someone else. Looking at yourself from an observer point of view can help you gain some perspective and design coping methods for yourself.
Sending love and healing energies,
I have found that many people with C-PTSD have trouble saying no. If you were brought up in a mentally or otherwise abusive childhood, saying “NO,” may be associated with severe consequences to you.
If you lived with a parent that had narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, then they probably used confusion tactics on you, to the point where there was “no” way to say no to them.
It may be difficult to tell what situations that “NO,” would be perfectly okay, and what situations where saying no, would really cause a problem.
If you grew up in an environment where your feelings and thoughts were not considered relevant, then you probably feel that your feeling of wanting to say no, just does not count. Even though the same person may say “No” to you all the time, you do not feel that you have the same right to say no, that they do.
If you were even in an abusive situation where disobeying meant punishment , then you probably have a fear of retaliation from others. There is an anxiety response triggered by saying no and refusing to comply with another person’s request.
Triggers are very real and the tendency is to want to avoid feeling the bodily sensations associated with them. Ignoring triggers and going against our conditioned responses, is a very difficult thing to do.
You are allowed to set personal boundaries for yourself. You can also set boundaries for certain people that you do not want crossed.
You can set boundaries in regards to your emotions, your time, your energy, your work and your social interactions. You can set boundaries in regards to dating, doing work for people and doing favors for people.
Any situation where someone is trying to get you to do something by using your emotions against you, is a situation where your boundaries need to come into play.
Sometimes people do not accept your simple NO or your reasons for saying NO. They try to convince you be making you feel guilty or by shaming you.
image from mylovestory.me and Pinterest
They want you to feel bad and they do this by intentionally pushing whatever buttons they know you have. If they know that you want to feel like you are cooperative they will call you uncooperative.
If they know that you have helped them many times in the past, they will lie and tell you that they do not remember the last time you did them any favors.
Don’t fall for these manipulative behaviors. If someone feels the need to make you feel guilty in order to do them a favor, then they really do not deserve the favor.
People should accept No, especially if you have perfectly good reasons for saying no, even if the reason is that you just do not feel comfortable doing it or do not want to do it.
No, thank you.
No, I really cannot do that.
No, I do not want to do that.
No, I am not interested in that.
No, I cannot find time in my schedule to do that.
No, I am just too overloaded right now, to do that.
No, I am not interested in doing that.
No, you go ahead without me.
No, please ask someone else.
No, I do not have to think about it. I would rather tell you NO right now.
I said no. Please respect my answer
If you have a history with this person that tells you that they will counter any reasons you give them for saying No, then you can try something like this..
“In the past my giving reasons for my No, seems to have just been an opening for someone to tell me the reasons are not good enough or to dispute my reasons in some way. So this time I am going to say simply No without going over my reasons with you. “
Just because they are going to upset that you told them “no”, does not mean that you are responsible for their feelings. As long as you were not intentionally trying to hurt their feelings, then you did not cause for them to feel bad.
If someone is an adult then they are responsible for their own feelings. Much of the time, manipulative people are acting when they get dramatic with you. They can be very dramatic about how disappointed they are in you or about how selfish they think you are.
These are more reasons not to tell them “yes” every time they demand something from you. The more times they are able to manipulate you, the more they will resort to the same tactics over and over again.
**Please note that this article is not talking about partner relationships where the person will physically abuse you or will otherwise punish you for saying no. Those relationships are volatile and should be escaped as soon as possible but I never recommend to ignite retaliation in a severely abusive person.
It is designed more for situations where you are in no immediate danger or impending danger.
This article is also not a recommendation to tell your boss no to doing work, thus risking your job. If your boss is abusive it is a different topic and must be handled with a different strategy that is not discussed in this post.
*PLEASE NOTE **If you are in an abusive relationship with someone that you fear may become violent, then please do not provoke them ! …. Get help, and carefully plan your escape from them. …..Do not risk violence to yourself or your children….. Pathological people can suddenly become much more violent when confronted by a partner.
Producing creative work
That is truly your own
Whether it be art or music
Poetry or fiction
A new yoga posture to share
Decorating a lampshade
Or painting an old chair
Imagination, creativity and discovery
Can counter the darkness
Of the Soul-less ones
Who can merely mimic others
Emulate emotions they do not feel
And injure others for their own gain
They are shadows walking the earth
Hollow except for darkness
and contempt for those
That have authentic minds and hearts
Your act of creating and self expression
Can counter the darkness
Of the soul-less ones
that walk the earth in pretense
Merely to mimic and exploit
To sadistically seduce
In order to drink the pure energies
Of the empaths and the artists
Wandering from one victim to the next
Wash, rinse, repeat