How To Get Rid of Shame and Guilt

Sharing my secrets allows me to live a life today where I feel connected with other people. I feel connected to the universe. I feel whole as a person. I feel connected to God. Sharing my secrets allows me to not continue to do shameful things which require me to make more secrets. Sharing my secrets is something I started to do in the last year and a half.

I lived most of my life with secrets, things I wouldn’t tell anyone that I thought made me a bad person. Having those secrets was a terrible burden. Having those secrets made me life feel like I was alone and like I was isolated in shame and I wasn’t a good person. I felt like deep down if someone got to know me I was a bad person. It was an awful way to life.

But it was natural. I knew how to lie and how to keep secrets even as a little child. I’m here to tell you that confession, talking about your secrets with another human being, will give you release from shame. It will allow you to know yourself and to be useful to other people on this Earth. Other people told me that when they talked about the things they were ashamed of they felt better. I tried it and it works. It’s amazing how good it works and I’m grateful for it. Today, I’m willing  to not have any secrets.

I’m willing, if I got to know you and if you’re willing to share your secrets with me, I’m willing to share my secrets with anyone that needs to hear them. This is a little tricky because I don’t tell everyone my secrets all the time. I don’t just go post all the things I’ve done and seen everywhere online for people to view. Instead, I find people who are in the same situation as me and I found that through a support group that did this for me. That program for me was Alcoholics Anonymous. You may have a completely different program, it could be your religion, it could be a school group you’re in. If you share your secrets with them and they share theirs with you, then everyone’s burden is halved.

Everyone feels better. Everyone feels more connected. That’s what I did as a part of AA and I still do today, each day. One of the basic ideas there is that you share all these things you’re holding on to and all these things you’ve done.  Often there are things that happen in childhood that will often be bad things that you feel deep down. You will spend most of your life as I did running from things.

A lot of these things that happened to me were not of my own choice, they were given to me. When you’re a kid, you don’t decide to be a part of something shameful, it just happens to you. Then at some point you take possession of this, you think you did this to yourself. You may also think that you were the victim in the situation and that your role as a victim defines who you are today.

Some people take secrets to the grave and never tell anyone about them and have that burden the whole life. It’s a relief I’ve been given today. The cool thing is when you refuse to harbor secrets it allows your mind to help you. It allows you to stop making new secrets. When I had secrets that I was dealing with, I kept building new things on top of the existing things. This is common. You have shameful things and you feel like that’s who you are so you keep repeating the cycle.

In reality you’re hoping to understand it.Why is it I do this? Why is it I think I’m like this deep down. I repeated a lot of the same shameful behaviors that I learned and were given to me as a child. I kept repeating them as an adult almost in an effort to understand them, get past them, and break the cycle.

The cycle was broken when I shared them with someone else. Secrets will be kept and you’ll take them with you to the grave. I’ve shared those secrets with people who were presented to me right when I needed them. They were there, they were open, they trusted me and I trusted them and they shared theirs with me. I talked about my shameful secrets and they talked about their shameful secrets. You’d be amazed at how many shameful secrets are around you that people have and hold on to.

I recommend prayer and I recommend a support group if you want to do this.  A psychologist or counselor can help you with this as well as a priest if you have access to that. There’s all kinds of people that can do this with you, but this is not to be done with anyone randomly. I go to AA and it’s set up so you get to know people and you go through this process with other people in the group. You find people in the group who care about you and you get to know them over time and ask them if they want to confess with you. Then they either say yes or no.

If they say yes, you can talk about your secrets with them and they talk about their secrets with you and everyone feels better. Often this will happen with the veteran as a priest, they have heard a lot of secrets over their lives. You might think of an older member of a support group or older counselor as a veteran in a sense. They have been through a lot of people’s shame. They have been through helping a lot of people and then you do it with them and they do it with you.

The more you do it, you can keep doing it and I still do it to this day. Now, I have become the person who can work with someone who hasn’t been through the process before . I’ve done this a lot of times with a priest and with other people in my support group. I was surprised to see how many shameful secrets I was holding on to. Lots of them were more minor and lots of them were more minor than I can remember.

That helped me see that I wasn’t this awful person that had somehow developed into a person filled with shame. I had been given and taught pain as a child. I needed to be taught forgiveness as an adult and forgiveness for myself was important. I needed to forgive and understand myself and see that I’m not this awful person who’s done these things. I’m just a regular person who was taught shame just like many other people on this planet are taught shame. I learned shame and took it on as my own and when I share with another person, I can be free of it and that’s a miracle.

Now, it’s harder for me to make new shame because I know I’m willing to share it.  For me, “not enough” is my biggest shame. I hate feeling like I haven’t done enough. I’m not doing enough. I haven’t done enough. That is one of my biggest and most consistent shame triggers. For me, that comes up in all kinds of different forms where I want to do more and more. I wanted more money and more everything you could imagine. When I’m being led in temptation, the knowledge that I’m willing to talk about it with someone else helps me to not do it.

Shame seems to be private. When you’re thinking about doing something bad. It could be something minor bad or major bad and you know it’s unhealthy and not good for you. When you ‘re thinking about it. the underlying assumption is that you won’t tell anyone about it. The moment you are willing to tell someone about it, it’s not so attractive. When you’re willing to tell someone about it, there is a lot more hesitation in actually doing it.

I’m married and my mind presents thoughts about looking and getting with another woman. I’m a man, that’s how my biological programming works. When I know that I’m willing to share whatever I do, it’s not very tempting to do something shameful. It’s not tempting to think about talking about how I flirted with another woman. The first thought will come in and I will think that she is attractive and I should talk to her. Then I think that I wouldn’t want to tell my friend about that and then it’s not so tempting.

The thought that comes without my control just comes. But the thought I have behind it is that whatever I do, I must talk about it with another person. With me, you don’t go farther than flirting if you don’t flirt. I look at it as a married person that I  should not be flirting with any women and to flirt with another woman is shameful. Yet, the temptation still comes up. My thought goes to maybe you should flirt with her. Then I ask myself if I would want to talk about that and the truth is I would not want to talk about that. The certainty that I know or I pray that I will be willing to talk about it then the temptation is gone.

I pray today that I remain willing to talk about any of my shameful thoughts. I pray that I remain willing to continue sharing any of the existing shame that I feel like is mine. I pray that I’m willing to share any secret I have with any other person on this planet who needs to hear it. I pray that you have the same opportunity to share your shame so that you’re not stuck with it all alone. I pray that you don’t have to bear the burden of whatever you’re carrying right now all by yourself. Thank you so much for reading this. I’m honored you’ve spent this time with me and I value your feedback. I hope this post is helpful for you.