How Toxic Shame Begins Part 2

The Cycle of Adult Shame

The adult cycle of our young man’s imbedded shame begins with his denial that he was invalidated and made to feel worthless as a child. That conscious denial strengthens his unconscious shame and guarantees that he will continue to endure a sense of worthlessness that will gnaw at him incessantly. He will bear a strong sense of inferiority that nothing he achieves can overcome for long.

The same shame that exists in our young man exists in many of us. Those feelings of shame don’t go away with time or disappear with our denial. They don’t melt away because we wish them too. In fact, the more we ignore them and pretend they don’t exist, the louder and more powerful that shame becomes. The more these feelings of shame penetrate our subconscious, the more they control our life. The unconscious shame we try to deaden in our system then, is not really dead at all.

Subconscious Shame

If buried and unacknowledged shame is present in our subconscious, it will determine much of what happens in our lives. Whatever that shame brings into our lives will be detrimental to our well-being. Our unacknowledged shame will deprive us of our true identity and fulfillment and prevent us from integrating the physical and non-physical elements of our system. It will keep us from being whole and balanced. This is the legacy of the path of most resistance.

The Negative Ego

Making matters worse, when toxic shame is present in our subconscious, our ego has a negative orientation. A major function of the negative ego is to keep us from finding and confronting that buried shame. Its job is to keep our shame unconscious. Its mission is to keep shame alive. The only real solution to dealing with unconscious shame is to make it conscious. However, when the ego is negative it will do everything it can to keep that shame buried and unconscious.

Surviving With Shame

Surviving life with toxic shame embedded in our system is far from living life without it. We can survive, we can endure, but until we clear the toxic emotion buried in our bodies, we cannot go forward. We will not find our purpose, our happiness, our freedom, or ourselves. We will just survive and endure, feeling worthless and unredeemable, living life without being fully alive.
For our adult child of alcoholic parents to go forward, he will have to face, feel, and complete all the painful, incomplete, and toxic emotion stored in his body. He will have to confront his shame, his feelings of worthlessness, and his unending sense of emptiness. This, of course, takes courage. It will not be easy for him to be vulnerable to the parts of his nature that he thinks are unredeemable. That’s why he erected a negatively oriented ego in the first place.

The Way Out

However, there is a way out. If he chooses to face and feel his toxic emotions he can complete them. When he finally completes those emotions they will be discharged from his system. He will then stand clear of his past, and be well on his way to wholeness and happiness. If, however, he chooses the path of most resistance and decides to avoid facing his toxicity, his situation will not improve. His shame will persist.

Eliminating Incomplete Emotion

Almost all of us have our own incomplete emotion and unconscious shame to deal with. We may not have had alcoholic parents like our imaginary young man did, but virtually all of us have some dysfunction or disturbance to clear from our system that keeps us from being whole and integrated, in touch with our true identity, and able to manifest our true purpose.

Elimination is an exacting, demanding, and often exhausting process. The more shame and emotional toxicity we carry in our system, the further away from ourselves we are. Hopefully, our young man will get so tired of the way he is living that he will be willing to face his toxicity at last. If he can turn away from the path of most resistance, where he is constantly running from himself, and enter the path of personal evolution, where he chooses to face himself, he will be able to find his way home to who he really is and overcome his shame once and for all.