"I gave up shame a long time ago." ~John Lithgow Howdy :)
Shame is a shameful thing. It can keep you from moving forward, getting help and being happy. Where there is shame there is darkness, struggle an ultimately stagnation. There are many things we find to feel shame for, many things we choose to allow to bring us down for various reasons… many of which have been forced ideas from religion, parents, society. We have shame around things we have said, done, what we don't have, do have, want or don't want. The punishment that we endure for things that are fully, wholly human things, things we all do, will do, want to do… in some way or another, is amazing.
I remember growing up in projects on welfare and learning to feel shame for it. I remember learning to feel shame around having a low credit score. I remember being left by my ex and being told that I was a bad person because of my bad credit (that is the worst thing to say to someone who is shamed by their lack of financial power). I remember being sick and tired of being ashamed of crap that is crap. So I stopped. I gave it up. I am not an awful person because I grew up one way instead of another, or because I have had struggles financially, or because I have lied, or cheated or any other thing that I or anyone else has decided to throw out judgements against.
Life is short, confusing and filled with a myriad of experiences. I am over feeling bad for having the opportunity to live it. Every single thing in my life has gotten me to where I am right now and that is a most fantastic place. Living your life and then regretting it is wasteful, in my opinion (yep, that is totally a judgement). When we feel shame we allow that thing to have power over us. I think the only thing that is shameful may just be shame itself. Though, it is information; it tells you the area you need to expose in yourself, love in others, and let go of ultimately. Instead of shaming yourself, own yourself and your experiences. Look at the choices you have made or, in some cases, the situations you have been placed in by birth, and get out of them all that they have to offer. Our lives are our lessons. When we refuse to look at them fully we refuse to learn.
If you are feeling shame around something, or many things, speak it out loud… maybe softly at first. Hear it, see it, become roommates with it. Say it over and over until it stops being shocking. Google it, see that it isn't uncommon, see that you aren't alone. At some point you will be able to yell it out loud. You won't care who hears… you will let it go.
"As soon as you forbid something, you make it extraordinarily appealing. You also bring shame in as a phenomenon." ~Jock Sturges