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Healing Shame: Transcending our Paradigms Pt. 5

Message Blair Gelbond

Day 003 - Shame
Day 003 - Shame
(Image by marcandrelariviere from flickr)
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"Revolution is not revolt. What carried the Resistance of four years was revolt - the complete, obstinate, and at first nearly blind refusal to accept an order that would bring men to their knees. Revolt begins first in the human heart. But there comes a time when revolt spreads from heart to spirit, when a feeling becomes an idea, when impulse leads to concerted action. This is the moment of revolution."

Albert Camus

"I used to drink to solve the problems caused by drinking. The more I drank to relieve my shame-based loneliness and hurt, the more I felt ashamed."

John Bradshaw


In this essay I will be writing both about my own experience of dealing with shame as well as the prevalence of shame in the control-based paradigm.


I grew up in a shame-based family. My father was an expert in shaming and put-downs. This was especially confusing, as the shaming was often embedded in humor. As a child I had no consciousness of this; however, as an adolescent and young adult I gradually become aware that Dad had been intensely shamed, and sought to get this monkey off his back by offloading shame onto his wife and children.

I, my sibling and my mother were given the message that we could not do anything right. We felt that we were disabled human beings.

As a child and young person, I was frequently the recipient of shaming behavior from others. For me, it took plenty of therapy, ongoing spiritual practice and a healthy dollop of revolt to free myself of this burden.

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I work as a psychotherapist with an emphasis on transformational learning - a blend of psychoanalytic and transpersonal approaches, and am the author of Self Actualization and Unselfish Love and co-author of Families Helping Families: Living with (more...)

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