Shame: The Ultimate Toxin

self care shame May 08, 2018

Therapist on the whole help people expand their capacity to have feelings. We bear and traverse grief. We contain and enjoy excitement. We hold and learn from sadness, or longing. We contain and console fear. Therapy does not help you to avoid emotion, nor does it magically evacuate tough feelings, but rather helps you to grow into a mature adult who can bear a full range of human emotion. When we bear emotions, they do dissipate, and we also learn to regulate them and/or chose healthy actions that naturally alter what we are feeling. This capacity leads to a depth of life satisfaction, a wealth of empathy and relational capacity, and resilience through life’s ups and downs. I cannot speak enough for the usefulness of a full emotional capacity.

Shame, however, is not an affect that we should learn to bear. Shame is a toxic state of mind that inhibits almost all real emotional growth, presence of mind, and relational capacity. I think of shame like a cancer. If grief and...

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