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Releasing Shame with EFT

Updated on March 27, 2011

Introduction to EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique

Self Acceptance with EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique

Memory Release with EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique

In my life experience, the weight of the word is like an anchor heavy enough to stall the Titanic. We’ve all heard someone say, “Shame on you”. Whether the words were uttered directly, under the breath, or to someone else, we can all associate with the feeling that follows. I have to say sums it up rather well: “a painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace”.

Now, this also deserves some consideration, in my opinion. Alongside its sister, guilt, the feeling of shame really points to worthiness, or rather a lack of. So while guilt incites a feeling of, “I have done something wrong,” shame is a deeper accompanying feeling of, “I’m so wrong, maybe I don’t deserve to be here”. Which if we delve even a little further into the abyss, we may find translates into, “Maybe I don’t deserve to be alive“. Whoa. Did I really write that?! Yes. It’s true. These feelings we identify with hold power in our lives. I’m here to name them. In naming, we can get it out and let it through.

To think we are not worthy of living, being here, ultimately of Love itself… well, how does that feel when you read it? Relatively hopeless I imagine. And yet I suspect many of us have felt shame at one point or another. The real unfortunate circumstance is when it affects us throughout our life. In those dark, sad moments does that feeling come to surface? The one that tugs and pulls you deeper, lower. Or have you come to see the little bit of light shining through?

This one is like a scab for me. I see it’s there. I know it’s healing. Yet I want to pick it off and see the clear, new skin glowing underneath. And of course that’s not how the human body heals; the psyche either. However, do I blame my childhood for the wounds? Blame parents, teachers, family, friends, society at large?! Oh no, we’ll cover that one next. I come back to the perspective at hand: we create our own experience of reality.

In that aspect, shame is something someone else has indicated we *should* feel. For something we have done wrong, out of line, outside of cultural norms, essentially not what that particular person wanted of us in that particular moment. Maybe even we are the person inflicting the shame upon ourselves. We have come to understand the ins and outs of our society, what is expected, what can surpass being wrong, definitely what is considered right and reward worthy. So shame can equate to guilt in this sense.

The decisions are the same. Initially we take it on because it’s what is done in our family, what is done in our circle, what is done in our society. And then at some point we realize it has no place in our life. That it is only serving to hold us back, in the darkness, away from the light we so much seek. I mean, even in our daily lives, don’t we long for the sun to shine? Sitting in an office all day or waiting for the rainy skies to clear, we all love the unending warmth of the sun. Even when it’s cold, it’s radiance can be felt through the crispness of a winter day.

Whether or not we’ve felt as low as I describe above, we are all deserving of Life. We are also deserving of Love. Just simply because we are alive. Our society may tell us otherwise, but I choose to believe each person who arrives here deserves these gifts, to know they are worthy, and of value, just because they are human. Of course what conflicts here is our own idea of what level of wrong doing can determine one does not deserve to live. (This is not a discussion about abortion or the death penalty…just about Life and Love)

So let’s just go back to the basics. We all start out as infants. Most can agree that an infant deserves to live. It is at this basic level that we grasp our mother and actually need her to emanate the feeling of, “I love you just because you are, just because you’re alive.” And most mothers do. As we grow, we do things that come across as societally wrong and the game begins. We know that if someone does ‘X’ or ‘Y’ or ‘Z’ it is likely they will be sent away (even if it be to a ‘time out’), locked up, heavily medicated, or maybe even beaten and/or killed. We begin comparing ourselves with them or others we perceive as bad and the shame sets in. We question our worth as human beings.

And again I say, we are all worthy. All of us. When we realize we are all equal, that we all deserve Love and that we all have the same value, no matter what, we can begin to put the pieces together. It may be hard to stomach, but when you accept that everyone is worthy, it means you know deep down that you are, too. And that is a glorious moment.

About Rainbow Recognizer

Amy Phoenix is a gentle, yet direct parenting guide and healing facilitator dedicated to sharing insights and practices to transform frustration and anger, heal the past and nurture conscious relationships – to appreciate all aspects of life. Visit her at


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Or you could come here to England? Everything is worth trying toghuh especially when you have had long lasting pain. Often your body is just in a pain habit and it needs to be given permission to let it go. There must be someone near you who does EFT? If not then it is possible to do it by phone or Skype. Nicer in person toghuh. Please do find someone to help you it is an astounding thing to learn 4 yourself too. See EFT Introduction on youtube. Its awesome! xx

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      RainbowRecognizer, I found your hub by doing a search. While I appreciate that you are trying to help people release themselves from inappropriate judgments of them and social pressure to conform to standards that are not in their best interest, I think there is also another, much more positive side to shame.

      You write: "the feeling of shame really points to worthiness". I agree with this. If someone is capable of feeling shame, then he is capable of knowing right from wrong. Sometimes we meet someone under circumstances that do not show them in the best light. But if we sense that they are ashamed of this, then we know that underneath it all, the person is worthy.

    • RainbowRecognizer profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks, Laurie :o) I'm somewhat of an observer, and have unconsciously been quite a sponge, too! I love the gift of writing and conveying experience through the written word.

    • WildwindE profile image

      Laurie J. Brenner 

      10 years ago from Western Slope of the Sierra Nevada, CA

      Amy we share the same spaces obviously. I use EFT as well as meditation, creative visualization and guided meditation to help me clear. You take time to research and write well. Thank you.

      Laurie B.


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