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  1. #1
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    The Toxicity of Shame: The leading edge and the trailing edge

    The leading edge and the trailing edge
    By Dr. Katrina Wood
    September 21, 2018

    Here are some affirmations to manage the toxicity of shame. And steps toward effective communications in loving enduring relationships.

    1. I remind myself I am a precious, lovable, loving human being. My worth is defined by my values and principles. This stands on a foundation of love, kindness, self-acceptance, tolerance and compassion.

    2. I'm aware of a negative shaming voice within my existence. It serves as an organizing principle and an intermittent destructive presence. This voice originated in my family system. It falsely reminds me that I have "no worth," that my thoughts and feelings do not matter, and that I must sacrifice my healthy emerging definition of my worth in order to be loved.

    3. I will no longer subjugate myself, contort myself or allow myself to be governed by this inner "voice of shame." The voice cripples my creativity, reining in my intellectual and emotional capabilities. The voice restricts my ability to love freely and to be loved.

    4. The voice of shame is triggered by certain external voices that serve to confirm this false belief I carry within.

    5. I commit to confronting and challenging this shaming voice regularly by reminding myself of the importance of my precious self, which is deserving of a tolerant loving heartfelt existence. This effort is supported by loving self-affirmations as needed.

    6. My efforts gradually will reduce the power of this shaming negative interject.

    7. If I feel highly irritated or agitated when confronted by another person's negative feelings about me, I will look closely at how that shame may be triggered by my anger. I will unpack what this voice within tells me about my worth. 
I understand that shame and anger/rage often are rooted in an internal toxic voice.
 I commit to taking a pause in these moments - to breathe, deeply and slowly - to shift this shame-rage moment back to my center, which is rooted in my inherent worth and supported by loving gentle kindness toward myself.

    8. If I experience external attempts to shame me through criticism or harsh words or threats, I will set clearly defined boundaries for further communication based on my terms and conditions of engagement. See item 10.

    9. If these conditions are not quickly course corrected, I will respectfully disengage from any shaming conversations, especially those that foster point-counterpoint language - focusing on who is "right" only serves to obfuscate the importance of expressing vulnerable feelings, needs and wants. I will offer to resume a conversation at another time with an agreed commitment to include new emerging organizing principles. If I fail to live up to my own "terms and conditions," I will commit to owning my defensive shame. I will gently guide myself back to a state of loving acceptance, returning to my principles of healthy engagement. If I shame another person to create the illusion of power, I will quickly acknowledge any pain caused and make amends. I fully embrace collaborative engagement.

    10. My commitment to healthful dialogue includes some of the following:

    • Beginning conversations with "I" statements.
    • Expressing vulnerable feelings such as fear, pain, loss, healthy expression of anger (leading with I statements), loneliness, shame and joy.
    • Describing the impact of others' behaviors on myself with feeling, but without attempting to shame them or to be "right." I will speak of my experience and what I would prefer to see happen.
 Using a regulated tone that serves to foster engaged meaningful conversations.
    • Sharing - receiving - collaborating on inclusive needs and wants from both parties.

    These foundational, holistic approaches support healthful and engaged conversations within a loving and respectful relationship.

  2. #2
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    Re: The Toxicity of Shame: The leading edge and the trailing edge

    "It’s not just a small beam of light that is needed, we need an ocean of light; a complete awakening."

    Praktisk Filosofi - Practical Philosophy: Bubers' theory of existential guilt and shame

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