Shame or The Death Of The Ego. How Do You See Yourself These Days?

Shame (to be toxic) or the death of the ego? Actually, you get to choose.

First, let’s unwrap this.

One definition of toxic shame is:

“Toxic shame refers to shame that sticks around and starts to contaminate the way you see yourself.”

We all have been through moments of shame in our lives.

(A small personal parenthesis here: I’m still not yet over that day in primary school, when I had to wear those awful demodé trousers with bell bottoms, with that ridiculous light green pattern… I refused to go to the playground that day!)

But there are no children here today, so: how do you deal with shame? How do you process it?

Do you deal with that as an uncomfortable moment that you can live with and it doesn’t diminish your love for yourself?

In other words: it scratched your image but caused no damage to your self-esteem.

Or, does it turns to be toxic to a point that it contaminates the way you see yourself?

Does it make you think you don’t deserve better?

Does it make you choose things according to that perception of unworthiness? Does it change your perception of yourself?

1. Perception Of Yourself, Shame & Perception of Shame

The first thing for you to understand is: how do you perceive yourself when dealing with shame?

Where does that shame come from?

Does that shame come from you or from other peoples’ eyes?

Are you really seeing yourself through your eyes or through the eyes of other people?

Let’s face it: society has always judged and boxed people according to a certain apparent projected image (entitlement, looks, and appearance, social status, etc).

Now happens the same but faster, because of internet globalization. Kind of easy to be famous. For good or for bad reasons.

Let us say you are famous for bad reasons, as in the movie “The Scarlet Letter” with Demi Moore and you carry a scarlet letter as the burden of shame in your local society…

Well, of course, the movie happens in 1642. This isn’t 1642.

Two questions must be asked now:

  1. Whatever it’s causing you shame: is it your wrong-did that’s causing you shame?
  2. What’s causing your shame is not your wrong-did by itself, but the fact that it has been exposed?

2. Is The Shame Yours, To Carry?

In case of scenario 1. a), if it is you did that’s causing you shame, ask yourself:

  • How can I do better next time, so you won’t have to feel that specific shame again?
  • What was the core value of yours that you run over, disregarded? What was behind that decision, that made you over cross a core value, and as result, you got to be ashamed of yourself?

Unpeel the shame.

That’s important to consider and evaluate.

What was behind your action, what made you do it? Was it unconscious, or conscious? If it hurts (makes you feel ashamed), it’s probably because some core value of yours was ran over …

How important is that value for you, to make you feel on your knees to your own eyes?


Of course, some values can be changed throughout life, you rebirth, you reinvent yourselves: some values just no longer serve you in your growth process.

But one must be conscious about it: if you want to reinvent the “house” eventually, might be not necessary to destroy the whole structural “pillars”.

Your core values somehow, work like a fort that helps you set boundaries to external influences.

They also help to filter what suits your interests and what doesn’t. So: one must be very conscious about disregard or change a Core Value. Might just destroy the whole building.

Think it through. Just to make sure that the value should stay or go.

The other side of the coin means not knowing, not being conscious about your values. And these are the seeds of self-sabotage, causing lots of inner conflicts.

3. The Shame Is Not Yours To Carry?

In case of scenario, 1.b), if shame is not because of your did itself. It’s more because of someone else’s bad-did.

Ok:  maybe there was some humiliating situation, you felt ashamed for being humiliated.  Back then. But you don’t have to identify your whole personality or resume your whole life,  made of some fantastic good and some bad experiences, by one shameful moment.

You are not a “moment” in your living experience.

Let assume that was not in your control and the situation that, hypothetically, creates feelings of shame in you, is not because of your did itself, but its’s more a matter of its exposition.

In that case, you’re facing an ego struggle.

Of course, that is supposing you’re not a psychopath, like those who inflict pain in others and say it’s others' fault, they do it for sports, assume no responsibility for nothing, and feel absolutely no empathy at all. In this case, there’s no shame of any type, nor guilt associated, nor internal struggle because no values exist there to be hurt.

So let’s assume you’re not a psychopath and, still, when you analyzed it: you feel shame not because of your did by itself.

Let me tell you: the shame is not yours to carry.

If you feel shame, not because of what you did by itself, but because it has been exposed. Because someone knows.

Well, this is actually an opportunity, a turning point, if you use it to your favor: you get to kill your ego.

The death of the ego.

4. The Death Of Ego


Of course, it matters what people think of you.

Of courses, it’s disturbing if what people think is not favorable to you or, even fair.

But what people think (or say) about you cannot be more important than what you think about yourself.

Ahamkara. New word in the vocabulary. A beautiful sound that compounds a word. It means ego in the Sanskrit language (ancient language of Hinduism and Buddhism).

And simply explained in one of Richard Grannon's philosophical and therapeutical videos.

Ahamkara is the story you tell yourself for others to believe.

And put like this, is easy to understand the ego.

It exists, it’s built, is necessary to a certain point.

But it cannot be all you are. You are too precious. You have to be, exist, and acknowledge yourself with layers of major depth. There’s The You. And that, “The You”, must not be a stranger to yourself.

What happens when you grow an adult that feels crushed with shame, for some reason, is because of the Ahamkara, the ego, the story you tell yourself, no longer matches with what others see. And if “The You” is a stranger to you, when ego crashes, you may feel like you have nothing left to hang on to.

How can it be used to your advantage?

Might be an opportunity to be introduced to “The You” if you haven’t acknowledged this entity…

And if you are already in a close relationship with your own entity, “The You”, then you no longer are stranger to yourself and, the death of the ego is actually Freedom: you no longer have to put action and decisions around that image you’ve created (or others did) to be shown and presented to others. You’re free to be yourself.

You know that entity – The You” – but you don’t like that “person”? Get to know better, improve on the areas you think you’re weak and would like o to improve; reinforce what you already appreciate, respect, and admire.  And feel free to be yourself.

That doesn’t’ mean you get to be irresponsible, careless, or neglect your people (the ones you really care about): it just means you allow yourself to be you.

Social strings no longer restrict you that much. Only the necessary. You no longer have to consider too much of your “Ego/Ahamkara/The story you tell to yourself” in order to match others' opinions of that person-ego that was shown.

And that’s one hell of a hack of yourself. You return to the source: you belong to you.

It's easier said than done?

Well, it’s a valuable option. Nobody said it was easy.

But it is better than embodying other peoples’ shames, other people’s stories, just to match some sick portrait. And you have to consider that some people just want to make sure you feel shame, so they can live better with their own shame.

So, it’s worth considering this option, doing the next step to your evolutionary process, once you get to a conclusion that the shame is not yours to carry.

5. How Do You See Yourself These Days?

How do you see yourself, these days?

Do you know that person in the mirror (mind mirror, soul mirror)?

When you look inside: you see someone you love, respect, and admire?

When you see things you don’t like in you, attitudes, lacks in skills, behavior: you see it as a dead-end? Or do you consider improving yourself?

Do you know your personal core values (the five more important values, when comes to decision making?) and weaknesses?

These are questions that you can question yourself: the better you know yourself, the better you can filter what you should or not accept as information, ideas, opinions, truths.

Because like Billy Paul would say in one of his songs: “there’re three sides of every story, there’s a right, there's a wrong and there’s the truth”

Nobody is perfect. Nobody is flawless.

Feeling shame punctuality is normal, it’s even useful to a certain point: means values exist in you and shouldn’t be ignored or discarded without deep thinking.

Do yourself a favor and take one hour of your day to make a hierarchical list of your 10 Core Values and stick them on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, on your journaling book: so you have them always in mind.

What concerns this particular subject (processing shame), knowing your Core Values will help you make mind-cleaning. Here are some of the benefits of proceeding according to your values:

  • Makes decision making easier
  • Increase your confidence and sense of self
  • Helps in  mental housecleaning
  • Helps eliminate excess baggage from your life
  • Help you react better in difficult situations

If you’re dealing with toxic shame related to trauma, and it is leading you to psychological disorders, addictions, anxiety, depression, or if you have signs of post-traumatic stress disorder: get professional help.

You can even get them online if you will.

Body&Soul Hugs!

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