Toxic shame is an incredibly incapacitating state to live with. It is often the result of living with a narcissist and it is the result of particularly manipulative conditioning. Many may grow up with this and have to heal it as we all have to heal childhood wounds. Others may develop this later in life due to traumatic or abusive relationships. Wherever it comes from the result is the same – a heavy weight pressing on your soul making it difficult for you to be Who You Truly Are. Toxic shame is often brought about by invalidation linked to lies so you can never be sure of yourself. This makes building a healthy connection to Who You Truly Are extremely difficult.
Normal control or invalidation is when someone tells you that you’re wrong. It’s usually about something that you’ve done and it may make you feel guilty – if you feel that it was
wrong – or it may make you feel defiant – if you don’t feel it was wrong. Narcissistic or toxic invalidation (though of course all invalidation is actually toxic) is when someone tell you that you’re wrong and you haven’t done anything. They tell blatant lies in order to have something about which to make you wrong. If you have proof to the contrary they’ll deny it. They’ll use what is most precious to you in your life as a means to strengthen their invalidation of you. If you’ve done something that brings you joy they’ll explain how that was a bad thing to do. If you have supportive relationships in your life they’ll explain how those people are really beneath you or can’t be trusted. They’ll explain how they’re the only person who has your best interests at heart, even though their actions won’t match that and they’ll give you positive reinforcement only when you’ve done what they want you to do. They’ll tell other people you’re crazy or can’t be trusted. Anything negative they do will be your responsibility. You’ll begin to wonder if all this pain is your fault. Anytime you think you’ve started to understand them they’ll change things, invent a new lie or deny the truth because this keeps you off-balance. Confusion keeps you questioning – including questioning yourself and the value of who you are and what you do. That, of course, is the point.
Healthy shame actually strengthens your connection to Who You Truly Are. It is an uncomfortable, squirmy feeling that tells you you’re focused on something that’s a bit out of your integrity. It’s part of your own system, an internal boundary you were born with that’s there to help you stay in alignment with your true essence. Toxic shame takes this part of your system and turns it on its head. Toxic shame means you’ve been so turned around inside yourself that you’ve developed beliefs that means you can no longer trust yourself. There’s two parts to it. The first are beliefs that stop you from doing anything, the second is a belief that punishes you if you do something.
The first part of toxic shame is the belief ‘I’m never good enough’ because whatever you did for the narcissistic conditioner was never good enough. This could even be as deep as ‘I only make things worse’ if whenever you did something that brought you joy or you attempted to bring the narcissist some joy you were attacked verbally and emotionally. This belief will stop you from doing anything, including anything to heal yourself. Fractology can help release this. One of the best ways to work on this yourself is to do ‘mirror work’. This is when you stand in front of the mirror and look into your eyes and tell yourself all the things you would have heard if your conditioning would have been healthier. I call this ‘re-parenting’. For example, ‘I love and
approve of you just the way you are.’ or ‘You’re doing well and you’ll do even better as you keep learning.’ or ‘You’re so wonderful. I’m so glad to have you in my life.’ When we get older we can either continue to be the victim of our conditioning or we can re-parent ourselves and make up the shortfalls or correct the problems we’ve ‘inherited’.
The second part of toxic shame comes out if you manage to get past the first. This is the thought ‘Who do you think you are?’. This is the kind of thing you would have heard if you ever dared to resist or push back against the narcissistic conditioner. This is essentially a statement of their entitlement. Such thoughts invalidate you rather than acknowledge you for your achievements, as if, in achieving anything, you’ve somehow wounded others. Certainly you will have damaged the control of the narcissist which is why your achievements will be discounted and your opinions belittled. The way to heal this is to continue the work above but to also work on developing healthy pride. This is also something Fractology can assist you with.
Healthy shame helps keep you on track so you can achieve your potential. As you witness all the amazing things your true essence helps co-create you naturally feel healthy pride in yourself and what you achieve. Healthy pride comes from a deep appreciation of Who You Truly Are and an understanding of your function in the co-creation of all things. We all have our part to play in the unfolding of the Universe. Toxic shame would rob you of it but releasing that and opening to healthy pride gives your part back to you, and all the joy that comes with it.
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