Day 6: What shame and guilt are you hiding?
Any psychologists would tell you there are two selves - the public self and the private self. We wear different masks in order to survive in the world. We may act more positive, outgoing or generous than we really are. A bit of flexibility and good mannerisms is actually a good thing, it gives us the ability to interact smoothly with people of different backgrounds and personalities. At the same time, we need to learn that we are more than our public selves. Our private selves need attention.
To uncover our true emotions is not necessary an easy task, let alone a pleasant one. That's why very few of us have the courage to examine our true emotions and intentions. But I promise you if you take the time to do a bit of self discovery, you will be amazed by what you see. And when you understand why you do what you, you can truly embrace who you are, without feeling all the shame and guilt you're feeling right now.
We hide our loneliness and our sense of worthlessness by acting arrogant. We hide our self loath and insecurity by being mean. We mask our vulnerability by being sarcastic. Our mind is programmed to preserve our ego. Whenever we feel threatened, we act out our fear as a desperate attempt to regain control. On top of being aggressive and nasty, we may create dramas to attract attention, play the victim in every situation, develop all sorts of addiction. If you are one of those people who constantly attract negative events in your life, you may want to examine your shame and guilt that are lurking.
More often than not, we despise others because we see the same unattractive qualities in ourselves. In order to get rid of what reminded us of our own shortcomings, we go out of our way to berate and ostracize others. The problem with this approach, of course, is that we also berate and ostracize ourselves during the process. We may be in deep denial, thinking that, no, I have nothing in common with that person. However if we have the courage to take off our masks and examine our insecurities, we will see a lot of issues buried under these layers of denial. We may hate our colleagues for being political and mean, but do we also have these tendencies? We may feel uncomfortable hanging around with people who we consider unintelligent, but doesn't it have to do with with the fact that often we doubt that are not smart enough? We don't want to be around people who couldn't stand up for themselves, we despise them and look down on them, yet deep down we know that we do this because we hate ourselves for not being able to draw healthy boundaries. Unless we bring up all these issues, all the shame and guilt that we are busy trying to hide, we will never have the self esteem we need. Unless we face our shame and guilt, and accept them as part of who we are as humans, we can never truly take control of our lives. This is because instead of being in the moment and creating a dream life, we are busy trying to cover whatever shame and guilt we have. Instead of letting our higher self to guide us to do what we know is best for us, we let rage, sadness and habitual negativity take over. Today, make a pledge to accept yourself, when we love the totality of ourselves - the dark and the light - we are better able to live a happy life.