Shame Gets Under Your Skin
 
I talked with a friend a few days ago who told me about the experience of a close friend. 

Her friend, Sue had elected to have 2 abortions in her 20s knowing that she would eventually want to have children. In her mid-30s she met a wonderful man and they decided to start a family. It didn't take her long to get pregnant and she was excited to start this new adventure with her love and husband. 

At 8 1/2 months, after a healthy and uneventful pregnancy, she lost her baby. She blamed herself. She wondered if there was a medical issue from having those earlier abortions. She wondered if God hated her. She wondered if this was 'karmic payback' from the lives that had ended before.

Our mind thinks it's protecting us with shame - setting guidelines by reminding us of things we have done 'wrong'.  Believing that if we torture ourselves with the way things went wrong, we can do better in the future. We tend to fixate on that past and allow it to erode our confidence in ourselves and our own actions.

Shame doesn't protect us, it hides in the corner until it smells doubt and then turns on us, cutting our confidence from the inside. If we acknowledge it, it doesn't have as much of a chance to do damage.  

This is why we tell these stories. Shame wants us to believe that we are alone, that nobody understands us, that everything is our fault. 

Shame is misguided self-protection.