Hello everyone! I would like to continue with our exploration of healthy shame. Healthy shame is learned when we are children, from the very moment we open our eyes as tiny babies. If we are fortunate enough to be born into a peaceful, nurturing and caring home, then there is every chance that we will develop appropriate feelings of healthy shame. Healthy shame tells us that we are human. When we blush at some indiscretion we are made aware of our limitations. Mark Twain once said that man is the only animal who blushes. Or need to!
Healthy shame helps us set limits, or boundaries, on our behaviour. It is like a moral anchor. We develop it from trusting our parents, and their sense of healthy shame. John Bradshaw in his wonderful book Healing The Shame That Binds You rightly says that a child needs good modelling of healthy shame, and indeed of other emotions. I would strongly recommend this book for people who are carrying the intolerable burden of toxic shame. I would also recommend Gershen Kaufman’s book, Shame: The Power of Caring