I’ve been thinking a lot about the different kinds of shaming (including the variations of body-shaming). What is the nature of shame?
Shame hides inside you, showing itself only in the ways you distance yourself from others. Condescension. Envy. Snark. Inconsideration. Exploitation. Bullying. Trolling. Shaming. Untended shame breeds more of itself. The ashamed becomes the shamer.
People come at me like I have no right to feel pain for shame, as if my experiences of trauma are not real, expecting me to play Oppression Olympics. That’s not how I want to navigate my life, not how I choose to heal. Empathy recognises everyone’s personhood, acknowledges everyone has seen pain, carry feelings they haven’t resolved, experiences they haven’t healed from. Self-hate makes us compete & say your pain can’t exist because my pain must sit on you instead.
If you’ve experienced being shamed (and I know you have because we all have), remember how bad it feels. And ask yourself if you want it to take root in the pure, fertile self that is you. So much of shame is about wanting acceptance from someone who won’t give it to you. Maybe they can’t, maybe they won’t. Let them go & give yourself the acceptance you crave from them instead. Do it for yourself & also because what you carry out into the world comes back to you manifold.
: Watch what you think when you notice a stranger. And if your thoughts are unkind, ask where that comes from.