Alright, so you made a mistake. You did something that hurt others…and now you’re feeling like the worst human being on the planet (hello, shame!). That’s a normal experience—and it’s not actually a bad thing.
Shame and guilt can guide us towards being a better person, as long as we own that emotion (so we don’t project it out and hurt more people, or let it fester in the shadows of our heart!). This video is all about lowering or even erasing shame, all by making a genuine apology.
There’s a lot in this video:
- How to erase shame after making a mistake, through the magic of authentic apology. I discuss accountability and how that ties into true compassion.
- There are important notes on callout culture and privilege, like when you make a mistake that hurts a large group of people or upholds harmful and oppressive ideals. How do you apologize and make amends in those circumstances?
- What to do when you hurt someone but didn’t mean to.
- And a dash of personal motivation for apologizing when you cause harm (that’s where the added benefit of using apology to erase shame comes in!).
I want to also acknowledge that shame isn’t a bad emotion. It’s actually quite helpful in identifying when we’ve caused harm. It just happens to take thick skin to face. (But don’t worry, a little practice and your shame resilience will be super strong!)
By facing it, rather than letting it fester in the shadows, we’re healing that shame. Often, that’s by channeling it into making amends that actually help those we hurt. Sometimes, erasing shame shouldn’t be the goal—walking into it is far better. That’s another note I mention in this video.
To start exploring this uncomfortable emotion, let’s all chat about shame in the comments! What does it feel like in your body? Has it ever helped you? How does the feeling transform when you pay attention to it?
Sharing experiences creates community and authentic community helps us survivors heal. <3
P.S. Our abusers will often project shame onto us in an unfair way, when we didn’t do anything wrong. Facing that shame, in this case, will still help release it—as you’ll come to realize you did no harm. Just make sure you have a support system in case things get rough!