Letting Go of Shame with Emotional Freedom Techniques
Shame is the Big one, in my opinion the most debilitating emotion. It stops, bluntly, all movement forward in different areas of life. To be shamed is to feel disgrace – in a place of loss of ‘grace’.
So, what is shame? We all recognize the feelings where we cringe internally, maybe blush, cast our eyes down, feel hot or cold, and feel that feeling in the pit of our stomachs.
In order to avoid and hide our shame, we become defensive, stopping people getting too close, we take our feelings out on other people more vulnerable then we are, we attack ourselves through negative self talk –‘I’m a failure’, ‘nobody could love me’, ‘I’m not a good mother/father/boss/employee etc.
Throughout history, shaming has been used as a form of punishment and control. The Jews were forced to wear the ‘yellow badge’ in the middle ages and later in Nazi Germany as a badge of shame. During Victorian times and before, students who misbehaved were forced to sit in a corner wearing the Dunces hat – a badge of shame.
Everyone experiences shame – shame that they were not loved enough, shame that they were bullied at school, shame that they are not attractive enough, shame that they lost their job, shame o.ver this or that, shame they didn’t do this or that. The effect shame has on lives is huge. A woman whose boyfriend had ended the relationship felt shame, which prevented her opening up to another one. A client who was assaulted aged 19, still blamed herself aged 32 and it kept her in abusive relationships. A man whose mother died when he was12, was still full of shame in the mistaken belief it had something to do with him.
Shame – it takes over, it belies common sense and is at the heart of everything abusive thing we do.
Please be aware that with EFT you actually don’t have to go there and feel the emotion. Instead, I would like you to guess, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the greatest, how much shame you feel now over a shameful event from your past.
Cast your mind back to your area of shame – what happened to elicit your shame? Find the part of the event with the most emotion attached and focus gently on that. Remember to take great care of yourself emotionally and physically when you are working alone.
Now start tapping, speaking with feeling;
Side of hand;
Even though I feel all this shame still over that event, I accept myself anyway.
Even though I feel all this shame over that event, I accept myself anyway and all of my feelings.
Even though I feel this shame, I accept myself. I’m OK
EB; this shame
SE; all this shame
UE; this shameful event
UN; maybe I have hung onto this shame long enough
Chin; no, I have to punish myself forever
CB; maybe not!
UA; this shame
Crown; all this shame
Side of hand;
Even though I still feel this shame, after all this time, I accept myself and I forgive myself for whatever I need to. I give myself permission to let it go.
Even though I still feel shame around this event, I accept myself anyway
Even though, I still feel this shame, I accept myself anyway and I forgive myself
EB; I can’t forgive myself
SE; Maybe I can!
UE; I can try to forgive myself
UN; all this shame around this event
Ch; it happened
CB; it’s over
UA; maybe I’ve been punished enough
CR; Maybe not!
EB; all this shame
SE; this shame
UE; it makes me cringe when I think of it
UN; it happened, it’s over
CH; I wonder if anyone else remembers
CB; That was then and this is now
UA; I have learnt because of it
CR; this shame
EB; I choose to try to forgive myself
SE; I choose to let it go
UE; I choose to love and accept myself whatever I have done
UN; I choose to relax
CH; I choose to try to forgive myself
CB; I choose to accept myself and the person I was
UA; I choose to let it go
CR; I choose Emotional Freedom
Now take a moment to go back to your 1 to 10 measurement of the shame. What’s different now? How do you feel? Are you still thinking about the same event or part of the event? Give yourself a new measurement and if you still have some remaining shame, go through all the points again just saying ‘remaining shame’ on each one. Do this with all of the events in your life which create some measure of negative emotion and keep going until there is no emotion left or you are bored with it – that is a good sign that it has shifted.
Remember that EFT works a bit like a computer. When you re-programme, it asks you to re-start. Meaning that you may need a good sleep to get the full benefits of EFT!