Archive for November, 2016

“The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to the ocean —
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.”
— Robert Frost, “Devotion”img_0033


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Questionnaire: Do You Suffer from Debilitating Shame Due to Childhood Abuse?

1. Do you blame yourself for the abuse you experienced as a child?

2. Do you believe your parent (or other adult or older child) wouldn’t have abused you if you hadn’t pushed him or her into doing it?

3. Do you believe you were a difficult, stubborn, or selfish child who deserved the abuse you received?

4. Do you believe you made it difficult for your parents or others to love you?

5. Do you believe you were a disappointment to your parents or family?

6. Do you feel you are basically unlovable?

7. Do you have a powerful inner critic who finds fault with nearly everything you do?

8. Are you a perfectionist?

9. Do you believe you don’t deserve to be happy, loved, or successful?

10. Do you have a difficult time believing someone could love you?

11. Do you push away people who are good to you?

12. Are you afraid that if people really get to know you they won’t like or accept you? Do you feel like a fraud?

13. Do you believe that anyone who likes or loves you has something wrong with them?

14. Do you feel like a failure in life?

15. Do you hate yourself?

16. Do you feel ugly—inside and out?

17. Do you hate your body?

18. Do you believe that the only way someone can like you is if you do everything they want?

19. Are you a people pleaser?

20. Do you censor yourself when you talk to other people, always being careful not to offend them or hurt their feelings?

21. Do you feel like the only thing you have to offer is your sexuality?

22. Are you addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, shopping, gambling, or stealing, or do you suffer from any other addiction?

23. Do you find it nearly impossible to admit when you are wrong or when you’ve made a mistake?

24. Do you feel bad about the way you’ve treated people?

25. Are you afraid of what you’re capable of doing?

26. Are you afraid of your tendency to be abusive—either verbally, emotionally, physically, or sexually?

27. Have you been in one or more relationships where you were abused either verbally, emotionally, physically, or sexually?

28. Did you or do you feel you deserved the abuse?

29. Do you always blame yourself if something goes wrong in a relationship?

30. Do you feel like it isn’t worth trying because you’ll only fail?

31. Do you sabotage your happiness, your relationships, or your success?

32. Are you self-destructive (engaging in acts of self-harm, driving recklessly, suicidalattempts, and so on)?

33. Do you feel inferior to or less than other people?

34. Do you often lie about your accomplishments or your history in order to make yourself look better in others’ eyes?

35. Do you neglect your body, your health, or your emotional needs (not eating right, not getting enough sleep, not taking care of your medical or dental needs)?

There isn’t any formal scoring for this questionnaire, but if you answered yes to many of these questions, you can be assured that you are suffering from debilitating shame. If you answered yes to just a few, it is still evident that you have an issue with shame.



The Benefits of Practicing Self-Compassion

By learning to practice self-compassion you will also be able to begin doing the following:

o Truly acknowledge the pain you suffered and in so doing, begin to heal

o Take in compassion from others

o Reconnect with yourself, including reconnecting with your emotions

o Gain an understanding as to why you have acted out in negative and/or unhealthy ways

o Stop blaming yourself for your victimization

o Forgive yourself for the ways you attempted to cope with the abuse

o Learn to be deeply kind toward yourself

o Create a nurturing inner voice to replace your critical inner voice

o Reconnect with others and become less isolated

I hope I have been able to convey to you how self-compassion can help heal you of your shame. But it is difficult to adequately explain this concept in one blog. In the coming weeks I will write more blogs about how shame can be healed with self-compassion and explain to you how you can go about becoming more self-compassionate. As you continue reading the blogs and practicing the exercises you will grow to more fully understand what a powerful healer compassion can be.

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