Today I want to finish writing about healthy shame and on Monday I will begin looking at that great burden toxic shame, which one can have and not realise it. Childhood is the most vital part of our lives. We are formed in the first 3 years of our lives, and I believe that the first 6 months are the most important. If we bask in the emotional love of our primary caregive (usually our mother) we can look forward to a happy adulthood of inner peace irrespective of any tragedies that lie before us. Our boundaries are formed by our parents, and this will also enable us to develop healthy shame to show us that we have crossed someone’s boundaries as adults.
It is, also, of the utmost importance for parents to allow their children to show their emotions, especially their anger. I know, of course, that it can be most trying for a parent to suffer the tantrums of small children. If a child can express anger and still feel the love of the parents, then that child will learn healthy shame. For those in my age group (more than middle age!) anger at one’s parents was not permitted, it was seen as impertinence or worse. ‘Little children should be seen and not heard’ was an axiom that surely encouraged unhealthy shame! Alas! talk to you on monday. Jim