How To Deal With Shame?


Dear Adam,

I am new to your web page. I noticed I can ask you a question as I cannot find anything on your site that mentions what to do when you feel shame at a deep level. I am despairingly now at a loss, even as I type to you now. I have been physically and emotionally abused in my past and the effects as I have reached my 30's have came back to haunt me in such a cruel way. 

I know nothing else but to self-loathe, beat my self up and allow my mind to be my biggest bully. It's like ever since my abusers have now all gone and the abuse has stopped, the mind has now took over. It's become unbearable. 

I can't find peace in the deep shame I feel. I don't want to live like this forever. I wish the abuse would stop now. Is my mind looking for familiarity with the abuse and that is why it's telling me constantly what a horrible person I am? How I deserve this or that? That I will never amount to anything? That I will constantly walk around with this deep wound that feels infected and never seems to get cleaned or heal? 

Adam, how can I cope or find peace in deep shame that I feel so raw and painfully now?




Well, although it may not be comfortable or logical, you can let yourself feel shameful. Rather than analysing or trying to feel differently, you can give yourself permission to feel however you feel. You don’t have to call it “shame”, you don’t have to call it anything.

When it is allowed instead of fought with, these feelings are sometimes suddenly seen to be quite futile, in that they serve no purpose, improve no situation, but just create pain inside.

But, don’t aim for a particular outcome or breakthrough, just see the futility of fighting with these feelings. The resistance to the shame also arises by itself, rather than “you” “doing” the resistance.

If you try to work out why “the mind” or thoughts or sensations are like this, then it my feel like a never ending analysis and search for answers.

It is a kind of addiction to pain/shame that pretends to be helping to solve or resolve something. Notice that the mechanism of thoughts/feelings is almost subtly enjoyed, in a strange kind of way. Still, don’t argue with it or try to stop it, just notice it happening by itself.

The moment brings these feelings, so don’t oppose the moment. Let the moment be, including this uncomfortable experience.

The inner victim of the thoughts and memories can create even more suffering than the thoughts themselves. Who is the victim of it all? Can you locate the entity who is suffering all of this? Or is the victim of the mind also part of the mind, in that it is made of thoughts and images?

The most simple and direct advice was in the first paragraph. Let your self feel how you feel. Even if it is self loathing, let yourself loathe yourself, without using it as a tactic for the loathing to disappear.

At first, the feelings may intensify. If they do, what can you do other than let them? Any struggle with them makes them stronger. If the feelings stay, despite your allowance, then what else can you do? Can you pick them up and take them away? Can you just drop them? If not, then drop all tactics and admit you can’t do anything about them, so it is pointless to resist.

I don’t know how much this will help, but please feel free to comment below if you are not satisfied or have more questions.

Thank you for your question,



Comments for How To Deal With Shame?

(from previous website)

Aug 31, 2015
by: thinker

To understand intellectually as a mind concept that, there is no personal doer, thinker of thoughts etc and everything is perfectly happening according to cosmic law (god's will) and that if I am meant to be hurt, it will happen and some people (thoughts/actions) arising in a different body/mind will happen in a way to bring the hurt/trauma in my body/mind which is all predetermined, could be a little relief, that some energies could burn off which serves only to blame yourself for whatever happened to you, and blame/frustration about others who were responsible as there is no personal doer and every body/mind are helpless in a way to act in any other way. 

A talk on the above by Ramesh Balsekar can be viewed here

Awakening/Enlightenment may confirm this without even need to understand this fact intellectually as the personal doer also dies with it leaving nobody to grasp it for any reason. 

Oct 08, 2015
by: Kelly

I really appreciate the initiative that this website has. I truly think this helps people deal with their issues.