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Shame is undoubtedly the most powerful challenge we all have to overcome in order to live in our authentic selves. The distinction has been made between so-called "healthy shame" (a bit of an oxymoron, in my opinion) and "toxic shame", healthy shame being the possession of a moral compass, conscience and sense of morality and humility and "toxic shame" being an overly critical, unrelentant "super-ego" who blames us and believes we are somehow fundamentally defective. The antidote to a lack of so-called "healthy shame" is humility, vulnerability and the ability to face and admit our shortcomings and to commit to healthy, responsible behavior. The antidote to toxic shame is self-acceptance, self-forgiveness and the realization that we have often carried the shame of those who have abused us. We must have both a healthy sense of morality and a genuine sense of self-acceptance, the ability to forgive ourselves for our past transgressions and commitment, once we become aware, to change our behaviors. Shame begins to become dismantled once we share our true feelings/ behavior with at least one other human being. Sharing within a safe, supportive group such as The Pathwork groups encourages and allows for even more transcendence of shame. When we finally arrive at a point of self-acceptance of our humanity, our frailty, our transgressions and imperfection, we are well on the way to healing shame.This then allows for a genuine sense of self-love which is the foundation for loving and being loved by others.

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