We feel guilt when our action or decision
has contradicted our own core values.
We feel shame when our action or decision
has contradicted others’ values that are not our own.
can help us to truly consider
what we value most
versus what others want us to value.
An example of guilt:
If I hurt a loved one
by responding reactively to a conflict
and making untrue or insulting statements,
I feel guilt
because I have contradicted my own core values
of caring for those I love
and treating them with kindness.
An example of shame:
If I receive judgment from others
for being without a career path,
I feel shame
because I have contradicted one of their values
involving the need to have a career
in order to feel fulfilled or worthy or “whole.”
also helps me to realize
that the feeling of guilt cannot be eliminated.
Even those of us
who wholeheartedly align with our values through our actions
will, at times, have to choose only one to uphold
between two of importance
(such as kindness versus honesty).
And in these times,
we will naturally feel guilt
toward the value left behind.
we do have the incredible power
to combat shame.
The example of shame I used above
is something I have encountered repeatedly.
When that circumstance took place,
it used to eat away at me,
and I wished that I could disappear into thin air.
But over time,
I began to recognize, define and strengthen
my own core values.
I do not believe in the need for a career
to feel fulfilled or worthy or whole.
To feel these things,
I want to engage in activities
that spark immense passion.
I want to be exceedingly excited
about each day ahead.
I want to give compassion and empathy to others,
in hopes to positively impact their lives,
even if in the tiniest of ways.
I want to creatively make my mark in the world.
If this turns out to be a career, so be it.
If this turns out to be motherhood, so be it.
If this turns out to be an undefined collection of day-to-day projects
imperfectly sewn together with colorful thread,
so be it.
The point of significance
is that I am defining
what makes me whole.
The more certain we are of ourselves;
the more we focus on who we want to be in this world
instead of who others think we should be,
the more shame magically dissipates
into the endless, invisible atmosphere…
leaving us unreachable to its grip.