Shame is a soul eating emotion.

“Shame is a soul eating emotion.”

C.G. Jung

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During my time as a psychotherapist, “shame” remained a permeating theme among my patients…one that I also readily related to. Shame is all too often connected to sex, gender, and social status…it is a state of suffering (I would argue) imposed by society (“how others see me”) and not necessarily an inherent mental state.

As a woman who has spend a great deal of my adult life exploring sexuality, shame is not an emotion I am unfamiliar with…although it’s never been a guiding (or rather hindering) force. For me, shame has crept in when I have been far too attuned to the opinions of others and not when I was simply exploring desires…that, to me, felt quite innocent and authentic. So herein lies the paradox (so articulately stated by another, whose post I happened upon today on Facebook):

Can innocence and shame coexist, or are they mutually exclusive experiences?

I remember masturbating as a young girl, maybe age nine or so, I truly had no idea what sex even meant aside from seductive images gleaned from rated R movies; I was simply doing what felt “good”. At some point prior I must have been “given” the idea that sex was “naughty”…but even still I engaged in this act, which I would now consider innocent…and yet, I quite distinctly recall feeling shameful at the time;

It was bad, no…I was bad! 

This, and similar experiences,  have certainly influenced how I now feel about sex, as an adult…how could it not? Although I would counter that, even today, as experimental and “wild” as some would consider my sexual choices…I still feel an innocence about my desires. I understand and acknowledge the judgment that others may or may not attribute to my actions; however, I don’t feel particularly inhibited by that judgment. Perhaps, it’s possible to acknowledge the shame that society imbues and yet not to become a victim of it. Maybe…it’s possible, even as an adult who experiences shame, to be an innocent explorer in the world of sexuality.

I hope so….no, I know so.



6 thoughts on “Shame is a soul eating emotion.

  1. NoniShaney Cavaliere says:

    We are a culture of “shaming” each other..shaming often comes from a place of hurt. The person (people) who shame us are often victims of the same shaming or just have their own low self-esteem issues.

    That’s why my moral compass is just set on “does it feel good to you? does it create valid hurt towards anyone else directly?” If you come back with a yes, no answer -go for it. Explore life.

    • Charly CONCHITA Carlyle says:

      I like that you consider it a process and explore non-judgmentally…and really LOVE the idea of a “moral compass” described as you do…brava bella, it’s just further evidence of the fullness/happiness of your life…xxx

  2. teo says:

    Great line of thought 🙂 I fully agree with you. Shame is a soul eating emotion and keeping your innocence is a key to resisting shame. I felt the same way when discovering masturbation and it was a great load of shame that I felt after finding out, that it is actually supposed to be bad. Really confusing times, because I was just doing what felt good and that was supposed to be bad I was supposed to shame myself… Overcoming shame is a great liberation for the soul!

    • Charly CONCHITA Carlyle says:

      Thank you for sharing and connecting to your own experience…you know part of this blog was really about kind of accepting that the type of shame you are describing is just going to co-exist with feelings of pleasure at times and rather than combat that, maybe it’s about accepting it…but NOT allowing it to “stop” your exploration…just a thought…thank you again I always enjoy your input!!! xxx

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