March 2, 2011

Shame and My Learning Process

(February 26th's reading adapted to my EA program work,  from Courage to Change in Alanon.)

Today I will love myself enough to recognize shame as an error in judgment.

We all make mistakes. But hopefully, as we apply the program and continue to grow in self-awareness, we will learn from these mistakes. Amends can be made for any harm we have done, and we can change our behavior and attitudes so that we won't repeat the same errors. Thus, even painful past experiences can help us learn to create a better future.

The greatest obstacle to this learning process is shame. Shame is an excuse to hate ourselves today for something we did or didn't do in the past. There is no room in a shame-filled mind for the fact that we did our best at the time, no room to accept that as human beings we are bound to make mistakes.

If I feel ashamed, I need a reality check because my thinking is probably distorted. Even though it may take great courage, if I share about it with an EA friend, I will interrupt the self-destructive thoughts and make room for a more loving and nurturing point of view. With a little help, I may discover that even my most embarassing moments can bless my life by teaching me to turn in a more positive direction.

"The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well." Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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