Why Is Acceptance Important For Dealing With Shame?
Hello brother. Today, I want to talk to you about acceptance and dealing with shame.
Why is acceptance important in dealing with shame?
We can't deal with the things we deny. Denying something means we are unable to acknowledge the details of that thing and without the details of how it felt, how it affected us, what we think about it, we can't process it and move forward.
Acceptance is the beginning of healing and recovery.
But why should we accept things that we don't want, things that make us unhappy or uncomfortable?
Does it mean that we like them? No.
Does it mean that we want them to continue? No.
Does it mean that we have to give in and give up and live with it? No, not always.
As adults, in any given situation, we get to make choices. We get to make our own minds up about what we think.
Whatever has happened, the first step to moving beyond it, from being free from it, to deal with it, is to acknowledge it, to accept it, to stop resisting it.
When we're resisting something, even if it's something seemingly positive, we are denying its reality and avoiding dealing with it.
Take the example of acknowledging our self-value, and self-love. When asked is we value and love ourselves we may say, “Oh yeah, sure. I love myself. I accept myself. I value myself. I'm worthy.” But within that automatic knee jerk reaction to the question is resistance.
No one wants to be seen as “unhealthy”. So, “Sure, no, right, yeah, I definitely love myself! Yeah. I'm good!” This is resistance.
By automatically declaring we love ourself to avoid the pain of being seen as unhealthy, we are actually shutting off the opportunity to go deeper.
What does it mean to value myself?
What does it look like to love myself?
What does it mean to be worthy?
When we actually dig into it deeper, we may start to realize, I do actually value myself and I do love myself, but maybe something happened in my past that I didn't like, something I was association with, and through that association I feel indirect shame. Maybe that something I experienced makes me feel unworthy or unlovable indirectly. Maybe it’s my association with those people, events, or circumstances that is holding me back. Maybe I have "associated shame".
To be free and move beyond what holds us back, the first thing we have to do is be open to accepting that maybe somewhere deep down, we do feel unworthy, unlovable, or less than valuable by association. Maybe that quiet whisper, that elevator music of the mind, that unrealized associated shame is holding us back. Maybe it's the foundation of a bullshit story we have been reliving over and over again and now we need to finally let go of it.
This is why acceptance is so important. Acceptance is an important part of the process of moving through, of moving beyond shame. We don't have to like it. We just have to accept that whatever happened so we can describe it, feel it, and deal with it.
We don't have to stay stuck there, but we do have to move from denial to acceptance before we can recover and heal.
I have come to recognize and accept my own associated shame and have been moving through it and beyond it as part of my own personal journey and each time I accept and process shame, the more calm, confident, and comfortable in my own skin I become.
If you want to talk more about how to accept, feel, and deal with shame, message me or fill out the contact form on the Happy Man Coaching website, let's talk.
Much love brother.
Happy Man Coach
Photo by Nathan Cowley