The great cover up

The Great Cover-Up

A Family Culture of Shame There is a significant difference between not aware and not responsible.  Many adults whom I talk to about them perpetuating generational shame assert that there is no way they could know they had shamed their child in these ways because they did “the best they could.”  Really?  By simply duplicating […]

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Boy invalidated by his father

Your Feelings Do Matter

What If Our Parents Were Wrong? I love the way Robin Grille and Beth Macgregor, in their article entitled “Good” Children – at What Price? help us consider what they call the “secret costs of shame.” Our parents and caregivers’ voices are the first we hear, and in childhood, theirs are the words that echo […]

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Free to be me

Free To Be Me

The Five Freedoms Renowned author and therapist Virginia Satir speaks of the five freedoms that accrue when we are loved unconditionally.  Shaming occurs when any or all of these are overlooked or under-validated within a family relationship system. The freedom to perceive. If a child’s God-given need to perceive is not affirmed, he or she […]

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Young man feeling shame

Subtle Shame Messages

Toxic shame is experientially acquired more than it is cognitively learned.  It evolves from an unmet need, into a chronically unmet need, into a false belief, into an altered self-image.  This will develop in uniquely different ways in the lives of individuals who have been exposed to the very same environment.  For some, it may […]

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False beliefs ball and chain

Four False Beliefs

Shame Shame that is a product of our acting out (I’ll refer to this as “post-shame”) is somewhat different than shame that was the precursor to our acting out (I’ll refer to this as “pre-shame”), although both weeds share the same roots. As we looked at in detail already, pre-shame leads to discomfort that we […]

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Slow fade

The Slow Fade Into Sin

Temptation The Bible assures Christians in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV): “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” We […]

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Achilles heel

We Learn To Hide Our Weaknesses

Shame False beliefs tend to activate the shame messages internalized from our past.  From that irrational yet familiar place, we begin to relive the “old tapes” that have played over and over in our minds more times than we care to admit: I’m fat I’m ugly I’m unlovable I’m worthless I’m stupid I’m unacceptable I’m […]

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Iceberg subconscious mind

Children’s Perceptions Are Their Reality

False Beliefs Our conscious mind generates our conscious choices.  Our subconscious mind generates our subconscious choices. Much of what comprises our conscious mind is information we have accumulated, in one way or another, over the course of our lifetime.  This is a myriad of information that allows us to make decisions throughout each day; from […]

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Regret for doing what I don't want to do

I Do What I Do Not Want To Do

“All compulsivity is a consequence of unresolved toxic shame within us.” John Bradshaw I wish I had come up with this quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the very same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”  Why do we do that?  What is it within us humans that takes us back […]

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