Ten Myths About Shame: How to Transform Them to Manifest Your Juicy, Joyful, Soulful Gifts


By Claudia Gold, of ShameIntoJoy.com, Creator of Living Big Tele-seminars

An excerpt from an upcoming book: It’s Not Your Shame

I have a painful memory of a day when I was three and my sisters and I played a game called “Freeze.” The game was played by the leader saying to freeze, and all the players had to stay in the position they were in until the leader said, “Unfreeze.” This was a childhood game similar to “Simon Says” that we played where the leader said, “Simon Says put your hands on your head,” and all the kids would put their hands on their head until the leader said, “Put your hands on your head,” and whoever did was out because Simon didn’t say to.

So we were in our house in Riverhead, Long Island, in a play room with a wooden floor playing “Freeze”. My sister Sharon, who was seven – four years older than me, was the leader. When she said to freeze, we’d stay in our position, and when she said, “Unfreeze” we’d walk around or change our position. “Freeze.” “Unfreeze.” “Freeze.” “Unfreeze.” “Freeze,” Sharon said, and I was waiting, waiting, waiting, but she didn’t say, “Unfreeze.” I was stuck in an uncomfortable position that was growing more and more unbearable, but could not move, loyal to her. I thought I would burst but did not move, could not move. Finally, after a million years, she said, “Unfreeze.”

We can, in such a way, feel loyal to keeping shame frozen, as if once we were told we were bad and flawed, or a parent or sister or brother didn’t want to play or rejected us, we felt we must be bad and unlovable and must feel bad about ourselves forever, loyal to that all knowing authority. And over time such plagiarized, old shame can even become an excuse to not come out of hiding, to not risk, and stay in the a familiar old fort, even though the ground is hard, and there’s little nourishment to be found in it.

The following messages about myths about shame and how to transform them give you an opportunity to disrupt such shaming computer messages in the subconscious and unconscious that past shame equals present shame, and that shame needs to be forever.


“That was a temp job, not a permanent one” you might inform your shame, “and the organization that hired you for shame victim duty hired you only because you were available, the human resources department did not know how to write a compassionate job description, NOT because you deserved or fit the job description. You are not shameful by association with someone shaming you. Let’s, once and for all, put in our resignation.

“I RESIGN!  I resign from being your shame receptacle! I resign from carrying your shame shmatas for you.” (Shmatas is Yiddish for rags).

To quickly give an explanation of shame, it is perceiving ourselves as flawed, a failure, in some very individual way, unlike the other billions on the planet (many of whom feel the same way) or those who went before us. It can be hard to face our human imperfections until we realize that there are gifts in these dark places – such as of opening up compassion for ourselves and everyone else who is in the same boat, and of learning and making progress in acquiring virtues – that help us grow and are the building blocks for achieving the purpose of our lives.

Here are 10 myths about shame with a sentence or two challenging and transforming them. Afterwards we will recite a manifesto called: “It’s Not My Shame.” It will be a new game replacing the game of “Frozen Shame.” Finally there will be honoring you based on your new realizations of your worth that always was, is, and shall be. Here are the 10 myths and messages to transform them.

  1. I’m flawed vs. I’m human and spiritual and a lifelong learner.
  2. My body is flawed vs. I have compassion for my human body which supports me every day to have my life.
  3. My dreams and aspirations are flawed vs. The past does not equal the present. I may have not succeeded in manifesting something before because then it was not ready, I was not ready, or the audience was not ready. Today I can have worthy and beautiful dreams and aspirations with hope and idealism, and courage to purposefully go for them.
  4. I’m not worth (fill in the blanks) love, wonderful intimacy, financially being well cared for, looking exquisite….success) vs. I am deserving of love, wonderful intimacy, being financially well cared for, looking wonderful, and success in my work and in my life.
  5. My past is flawed = My present and future are destined to be flawed. Once shamed, always framed: a life sentence vs. Today is a new day, I am continually growing, and though I have had some shame and pain experiences in the past, I have amazing potential – all the Creator’s gifts in potential within me.
  6. My roles are flawed – I’m not good enough as mother, parent, woman, social worker, dutiful employee, wife (though husband is dead), daughter, aunt, neighbor…etc.. And there’s so much time to be perfect these days, why not? vs. I have been human and not perfect, and this life is for learning and continually evolving. I can grow gradually, step by step in any of roles, and breakthrough a pattern from yesterday or last year, or ten years ago.
  7. I must keep feeling shamed out of loyalty to _________ (my mother, my father, my sister, my family) as I hold that place in my family and have taken on others’ shame vs. It does not serve others’ souls to hold on to shame, just their egos and unconscious, unevolved patterns. Help your family evolve and slip out of the role!
  8. When I was shamed or rejected it had something to do with me, everything to do with me vs. Others may have shamed you out of their lack of skills to guide you in a supportive way, out of busyness, out of a power trip, out of dumping their own pain and shame, out of ego. You don’t need to own their momentary ignorance, and live your whole life playing “Freeze”, based on this illusion which serves no one.
  9. I am shameful by association – by being shamed, close-by to the person shaming me, and someone projecting their shame onto me vs. Others’ shame, blame, criticism, lack of kindness is not a gift, and I will no longer receive it, even if they are close to me, or close by me. Just because I was there and felt deep pain and rejection, does not mean that I was by any means worthy of their cruelty, lack of gentleness, or lack of compassion.
  10. Because I took in shame at a deep level as a child, I need to retain that shame as an adult vs. Though my sensitive baby, child and young self thought whoever shamed me was knowledgeable and all-knowing, I know realize they were human, suffering, and as an adult I no longer believe they were God and right about shaming me.

It’s Not My Shame

Repeat After Me (and take a deep breath when needed):

If I am raped, it’s not my shame,

If I am beaten, it’s not my shame,

If I am choked, it’s not my shame,

If I am criticized, it’s not my shame,

If I am molested, it’s not my shame.

If I am called names, it’s not my shame.

If I am fired, it’s not my shame.

Feel free to add sentences of your own.

If I am_______________________________________, it’s not my shame.

If I am_______________________________________, it’s not my shame.

If I am_______________________________________, it’s not my shame.

If I am_______________________________________, it’s not my shame.

If I am_______________________________________, it’s not my shame.

We can do it!! You can do it!!

Some Shame and Guilt Melting Things to Say:

You have permission to manifest your juicy, joyful, soulful gifts.

I give you permission to be loving, open and service-full.

You have permission to live, to be, to thrive.

You deserve justice and tenderness.

You are a joy magnet.

Believe in joy.

You, __________________, are not your mother.

You are not your mother, your father or your siblings.

You are a radiant being with your own gifts to express.

* Any of the messages above honoring your worth can be said in the mirror to take them in and integrate them at deeper levels.


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