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How to Erase Shame With a Meaningful Apology

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 

With care,

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!

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  1. Allison

    Thank you so much for this video! Shame has a strong hold on me from time to time. I love your videos and how kind you are!
    My current situation is shame for not knowing something that I apparently ought to have known and being publicly corrected.. I’m allowing the hurt feelings to have space.

    • Calion Smith

      Thank you so much for the kind words! Shame is truly a challenging emotion to handle, but giving it space to be processed as hurt is key–as well as reminding yourself that mistakes don’t make you a bad person. Hope your journey through it is healing and builds even greater resilience! Being corrected publicly is something that’s also caused me lots of shame too. It happens. 🙂


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