Life Gets Better
The Moment
You Realize Your Thoughts are Mostly Wrong!

MUSIC & VIDEO INSPIRATION FOR LIFE'S STRUGGLES

  • Clean & Sober
    All addictions, 12-step, substance abuse, rehab

  • Overwhelmed
    Unhappiness, depression, self image, suicide, fear


  • Down, Not Out

  • Financial stress, poverty, comebacks, starting over


  • Growing Old

  • Old & Cranky, loss, grief, caregiver, regret, goodbye


  • Inspired Media

  • Smart media, film bits, commercials, insights


  • Life Lectures

  • Bright minds, hot topics, keep Life in perspective


  • Life / Comedy

  • Fun songs, stand-up, real people, healthy laughter


  • Homeless

  • Destitution, poverty, hope, struggle, survival, shelter, motivation & slideshow.


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MUSIC BARS

“Those who wish
to sing, always
find a song.” 

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MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE EMAIL SUBMISSION


GUILT CRANE IMAGE


CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS POSTER


BAD DAY NOT A BAD LIFE


CANT START THE NEXT CHAPTER


LIFE IS GOOD SLOGAN

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peace
#46 Secret of Life? The Earth Laughs In Flowers
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Not One Person On This Planet Escapes Without A Struggle

Welcome to
Being Human

ying

Discover How Others Have Overcome

How Someone Just Like You Can Move Forward

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Life Does Not Play Favorites

But It Does Reward Good Thinking

And Good Thinking Is Often Just A Good Song Away

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MUSIC VIDEO BARS

“A song will
outlive all sermons
in the memory.”

mricrosun

EMAIL WELL THAT'S LIFE HERE


repeating thoughts

NIC VUJICIC QUOTE


meditating dog


SELF TALK


BEGIN AGAIN SLOGAN

HEALING TOXIC SHAME ARTICLE BANNER
TOXIC SHAME ARTICLE GRAPHIC
"The unfaced and unfelt parts of our psyche are the source of all our neurosis and suffering."
Carl Jung, Founder Of Analytical Psychology

The Pain of Toxic Shame Is Unrelenting
Until It's Confronted And Transformed

Chinn Street Counseling Center, Santa Rosa CA
KEVIN COOPER, MFT


There are two types of shame
which human beings can experience. Normal shame, which everyone experiences, is when we feel bad for engaging in behavior which is hurtful or harmful to others. This type of shame helps guide human behavior and is necessary for a civil society to function. Toxic shame is quite different and can be one of the most painful feelings human beings can endure.

Toxic shame refers to a visceral and often paralyzing feeling of unworthiness, inadequacy and self doubt. When we experience toxic shame we enter a trance state in which our perspective narrows, our body constricts and our heart hardens. When we feel toxic shame, rather than feel bad about something we did, we feel we "are bad".

Toxic shame results from our primary relationships and develops when our attempts to express our needs and feelings are not met with empathy and support but with neglect, blame, contempt or abuse. When our basic needs and feelings are routinely not validated we can come to believe we are not valuable or lovable as people. Toxic shame can be so painful that we emotionally freeze (similar to trauma) and when we experience chronic toxic shame we often repress it and it becomes unconscious.

Like other unconscious feelings, toxic shame from our past can be triggered in the present causing severe and confusing distress.

For most of us, our initial response to dealing with toxic shame is to move away from it. We each have our own mechanism for doing so which usually includes some combination of denial, distraction or self medication. Our response can be so automatic we are not even aware we are doing it.

HOW TO HEAL
Unfortunately when we move away from toxic shame we only deepen it. We also miss the opportunity to work with our feelings in ways which can give us insight and allow us to heal the underlying wounds which caused our shame in the first place.

The first step in learning to cope with toxic shame is to identify and name the feeling. Toxic shame is usually accompanied by harsh self judgement or self loathing and recognizing this can help us identify it's presence. Paying attention to our particular patterns of avoidance can also help us stay alert to when toxic shame is triggered.

Simple techniques like taking a few deep breathes, slowing ourselves down and learning to pause, can allow us to focus more precisely on what we are feeling rather than compulsively moving away from it.

The intent of these techniques is to stay present with our shame despite the discomfort, courageously facing it and being curious about what we are feeling rather than trying to avoid it.

Sometimes identifying our toxic shame can be very challenging because it can also bind with other emotions like fear and anger making it harder to identify. For instance when our unconscious shame gets triggered, rather than acknowledge that we are feeling self loathing and powerlessness, we may become angry to gain a temporary sense of control and distract ourselves from the debilitating impact of toxic shame. Unfortunately when we get sidetracked in this way we miss the chance to learn how to respond to our shame in a way which promotes awareness, compassion and healing.

Once we have learned to identify and stay with our toxic shame we can begin to move from self judgement into self soothing and self nurturance. The antidote for toxic shame is compassion and empathy, learning to respond to ourselves the same way a healthy mother would comfort her young child when they were in distress.

Activities like walking or hiking in nature, spiritual reading, journaling or soaking in a warm bath or hot tub can help ground us when our shame gets triggered.

This transition takes patience and courage because people who struggle with toxic shame have little experience with self nurturing behaviors and need to experiment to discover what works for them.

Healing our toxic shame requires us to learn to disrupt the triggers which cause us to fall into self loathing and replace them with healthy self soothing behaviors which make us feel whole and grounded. This process takes time but is well worth the effort.

Remember: Healing toxic shame can be very challenging and often professional support is required to identify it's presence and work thru its disruptive impact on our lives. If you think you struggle with toxic shame I recommend consulting with a therapist versed in working with this painful and debilitating emotion.

"Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest sense, something helpless that wants our love." Rainer Maria Rilke

Kevin Cooper is an MFT based in Santa Rosa, CA. You can reach him at the Chinn Street Counseling Center.
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This website project is dedicated to all good-things celebrating Life through song and video. A reminder of sorts, that regardless of where we find ourselves at this moment in time, we were once our very best and can be once more. Begin Again Anytime.
Feel free to contribute your links
here.

We don't expect that all content will suit all tastes. That's not the intended purpose. What we do hope is that you'll poke around, look, listen and maybe contribute something, anything that can move you into "good thinking". And good music can do that for you instantly. Get a soundtrack for your life.