Shame and the Myth of Adam & Eve

Explore the myth of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Paradise and how to interpret the symbols for your own personal transformation as it relates to shame in this continuing series on the myths and symbols that influence our life. In this episode we explore:

  • What is the Creation Myth?
  • The symbols of the snake, the Tree of Knowledge, the forbidden fruit and more
  • How Adam and Eve dealt with shame
  • How to work with shame

Watch the next Soul Session in this series on our YouTube Channel.
Connect with us in our Private Facebook Group and join in on the discussion.
Discover our Jungian Life Coach Training Program.

Shame and the Myth of Adam & Eve


Robert Maldonado  00:08

Welcome back to Soul Sessions. We’re continuing our series on mythology. This time we’re talking about shame and the myth of Adam and Eve, the birth of shame.

Debra Maldonado  00:28

Let’s start with a question. This year we’re going to be doing something new. We’re going to take a question from one of our listeners. If you have a question, go to creativemindlive and submit your question, we’d love to answer it if we pick it for the show. But right now, let’s go to question from Susan in New York. “What do myths have to do with modern life? Why do we need to learn ancient stories that seem irrelevant to my current life?”

Robert Maldonado  01:01

Good question. I’m glad you asked that. What myths have to do with life in general, especially in our modern technological age? Jung would say that myths reveal to us the truth in story form. Instead of just thinking about the moment, about what’s going on now and basing our interpretation of the meaning of life based on what is currently, or what we perceive in the world as the current situation, mythology points to a deeper foundational truth, it explains our place in the universe. What are we doing here? What is our purpose? Why life? All those things that if you think about it, science does not address because they’re not interested in answering those questions.

Debra Maldonado  02:13

So the myths give us a philosophical understanding of a deeper meaning in our life.

Robert Maldonado  02:22

Without a mythology, without a vision the people perish. I think it’s from the Bible. What that means is that without mythology we’re not really able to function appropriately or adequately in human life. Because we don’t have roots, we’re kind of adrift without meaning, without guidance of some sort.

Debra Maldonado  02:51

If we think about our life, it’s a story. If someone says, “Tell me about yourself”, you’ll tell them in a story form. You have your own myth of your life. We live in myth all the time. Our myth is our interpretation of our life, in our childhood, in our experience, at work, in our experience in different facets of relationships. We have our own myths that we live through. When we hear these other myths, it relates to us on a deeper level because just innately, that’s how we process meaning in our existence.

Robert Maldonado  03:26

Speaking of mythology, we are speaking of the myth of creation of Adam and Eve from a psychological perspective. We’re not criticizing a religious point of view. We respect all beliefs and all religions. Please take it as our interpretation from Jungian perspective or Jungian coaching perspective.

Debra Maldonado  03:54

Today we’re talking about Adam and Eve and shame. Let’s start with what is the creation myth.

Robert Maldonado  04:03

Thinking about the question that Susan has, there are two myths right now that are competing for contemporary human attention. Because if you think about the Big Bang Theory, it’s a creation myth. The science won’t admit that, they say “No, we’re working rationally and in a methodical scientific way.” Of course, that’s true to some extent. But if you look at what they’re talking about, they’re talking about a creation myth of how did we get here? How did life come to be? How did the planet come to be? How did humans come to be?

Debra Maldonado  04:53

We really just pop into this world, there’s no history, so archaeologists are always looking for clues of the earliest age, how we evolved, the stars and how they were created, how the Earth was formed.

Robert Maldonado  05:06

The other myth, of course, is this ancient myth of Adam and Eve, Genesis. In the beginning, there was darkness. Then God breathed over the waters and created the heaven on the earth, which is a competing myth. That’s why you see people in these two different camps in intense disagreement with each other, because you’re talking about a different cosmology. Mythology, especially the creation myth is meant to give us an orientation as to what is the meaning of the created universe. If you’re basing your life on the Big Bang Theory, the universe is going to appear to you very differently.

Debra Maldonado  06:00

Cold and meaningless almost?

Robert Maldonado  06:06

It depends. I like the creation, the Big Bang Theory.

Debra Maldonado  06:10

It’s interesting. The intelligence and our part in it.

Robert Maldonado  06:15

But the point is that the universe is going to look very different if you subscribe to the Genesis creation myth where God is at the center of the creation. In the Big Bang Theory, there is no divine element guiding the creation, it’s simply happens through natural laws. You see these two competing creation myths existing at the same time. Therefore you start to see why people disagree so intensely and so emotionally. Because they’re operating on different cosmologies. Anyways, that’s a side note. But a creation myth definitely gives us a sense of why there is order in the universe versus chaos. Usually, there’s a story as to there was a primal chaotic element or darkness out of which came light, order, form. Creation myths also talk about the foundation of the land. Why did the land appear? How did it appear? How did it come to be?

Debra Maldonado  07:41

And then how did humans emerge?

Robert Maldonado  07:44

How did humans emerge and what is the meaning of why we’re here?

Debra Maldonado  07:48

In the Adam and Eve myth, God created Adam first out of the earth, then took his rib and breathed life into it to give birth to Eve, because he felt he was alone and he needed a companion.

Robert Maldonado  08:07

Keep in mind, we’re looking at the myth strictly from a psychological perspective, we’re not interested in is this true or not true? We understand myths to represent many things to many people and be interpreted in many different ways.

Debra Maldonado  08:29

Psychologically, there’s masculine and feminine. They’re in this garden of Eden which is a beautiful paradise, they’re one with everything, they have unlimited supply, abundance. Everything is given to them. It’s effortless. If you only think about our unlimited self, it reflects that in a way.

Robert Maldonado  08:57

In the story, it really paints a picture of paradise, which is in a way heaven. They’re part of the kingdom of heaven. They’re still innocent, in that they haven’t experienced duality. Therefore they haven’t experienced shame.

Debra Maldonado  09:18

It’s almost like a child that’s innocent, they think everything is good until something happens. Then they’re like “Wait a minute, the world isn’t as nice and loving as I thought it was.”

Robert Maldonado  09:29

The serpent, that from our perspective represents higher knowledge or consciousness or self awareness, when the serpent enters the picture, they become aware, their eyes are open, they realize they’re naked, and they become ashamed. They have shame for the first time in the story.

Debra Maldonado  10:03

It’s because of the duality, the good and evil they’re aware of, there’s a dark side to humanity or to themselves.

Robert Maldonado  10:13

If you think of shame, it’s self reflection. We become very conscious of our actions, our thoughts, our status, in a way very self conscious. But it’s a hyper sense of self consciousness.

Debra Maldonado  10:33

Like worried about what other people think. Am I doing the right thing? Am I a good human being? All those things that religion teaches us, don’t sin and be kind to others.

Robert Maldonado  10:45

When we do that, of course, we’re going to come up short because nobody’s perfect. We’ve all made mistakes. That’s the way we learn in the world by making mistakes. Shame is very tied to that self awareness that enters the picture with the eating of the fruit of knowledge.

Debra Maldonado  11:10

If you have no shame, it’s not a good thing because then you don’t have that reflective or compassion, you can be very destructive. If you don’t have shame or you’re not conscious of it, you suppress it.

Robert Maldonado  11:25

From a biological perspective, we see the usefulness of shame, especially in group animals or beings. We need to feel shame if we hurt other people or those around us. Because if we don’t, we’d be terrible people, and the group would not be able to stay together. They would fall apart essentially because people would be doing terrible things to each other. And they would say “This is not worth staying in the group. Let’s go our separate way.”

Debra Maldonado  12:04

That’s basically how we’ve been through time, we dealt with shame as a community, we punish the criminals, put them away, we put them in the locks, and everyone has to watch them or throw fruits at them or food at them. Like that scene from Game of Thrones, where Cerci had to walk through the whole town naked. The woman with the bell was going “Shame, shame, shame.” That was such an intense for me scene because we all feel that when we’re ashamed. We all feel like the whole world is looking at us and yelling and throwing stuff at us when it’s not even real. We can get to the extreme of that, but we see that over through time. As a community, we use shame to control people’s behavior in a way, or if we didn’t have it, I think people would do terrible things to each other. It’s something we have to live with. But we’re going to talk a little bit more how to work with it. It’s not a bad thing to have. It’s really a sign of self awareness or self consciousness.

Robert Maldonado  13:20

It’s very much tied to self awareness, which is what we call our conscious awareness. Our self awareness. If we didn’t have self awareness, there would be no shame essentially, or very little, it would just be kind of more of a mechanism.

Debra Maldonado  13:40

Like shameless. Some people are just shameless. They don’t have that self reflecting, they act reckless in a community. Then you’re like “They don’t have any shame.” They can be very destructive. It’s a good regulator to work in the world of other human beings.

Robert Maldonado  14:01

Let’s talk a little bit about how shame operates, in our emotional life the same. There’s a difference between mood and effect. Mood we can think of as the general emotional pitch that we experience for long periods of time. It’s the long game. In psychology and clinical psychology, they talk about mood disorders. What they usually mean by mood disorder is depression.

Debra Maldonado  14:40

It’s like an inability to regulate your own mood. You can’t like control the mood, the mood takes over.

Robert Maldonado  14:49

It’s a disorder of mood because it robs the individual of their motivation, their ability to enjoy life, their happiness. Some people even destroy their own life because of depression. There are other lesser forms of depression, this one is called dysthymia. Dysthymia is a a low grade depression where the individual starts to get used to that feeling. They start to think “Maybe that’s as good as my life gets.”

Debra Maldonado  15:35

Kind of like a complacency. Like “I guess this is it.’ You’re hopeless in a way?

Robert Maldonado  15:45

It’s kind of a low grade sense of hopelessness, meaninglessness. The individual has problems finding meaning in the stuff they’re doing. They’re not enjoying their life. Some people just stay there and they think “There’s nothing I can do about, that’s just my personality.”

Debra Maldonado  16:07

But they’re not suicidal, incapacitated. They just have that numbness, maybe they’re going through life, they’re just numb. But it’s not as intense as depression where they can’t even function.

Robert Maldonado  16:25

There’s others, those bipolar disorders, there’s these wild swings, or sometimes milder swings from pole to pole, from depression to high intensity, activity. But that’s beside the point, let’s say the mood versus affect.

Debra Maldonado  16:47

The mood can be as deep as depression, but also the height of elation, like you win the Olympics, or you get the gold medal, or you achieve some goal, or a superstar being on stage, and there’s thousands and thousands of people cheering your name, that elation that comes with that. Or having the first child. When I was a hypnotherapist, I would always ask people what was the happiest moment of their life, so they can anchor it in. Almost everyone that was a mother said “When my baby was born, and I held the child.” It doesn’t have to be like “Aaah!” but it’s a deep sense of joy. We have that and then the other spectrum that human beings can fall into. Most of us are in the middle. We’re not always like that all the time. We have that middle ground.

Robert Maldonado  17:44

It’s the golden mean, that normal curb, most of us all around the middle. There’s a tail that is the extreme elation and the other tail, which is extreme depression, with very few people in it. So an affect then, as opposed to mood is the short term, the moment to moment expression of emotion. That’s the affect. Within the bigger scope of mood, let’s say a person is—

Debra Maldonado  18:28

They have a section. They’re either really in that depressed state all the time, or they’re pretty happy, positive, or they’re in the middle. And in that range, there’s an affect.

Robert Maldonado  18:41

In the moment to moment, where the effect can vary. In one day, you can be happy one moment, express sadness another moment, etc.

Debra Maldonado  18:52

But you regulate back, you don’t stay stuck and get caught up in it. That would be a mood disorder.

Robert Maldonado  19:00

One of the best definitions I learned through my clinical training was what is mental health? You can think of it as flexibility. Emotional, psychological flexibility, the ability to adapt to situations, bounce back.

Debra Maldonado  19:20

So rigidness is a sign that there’s something, you can’t get yourself out.

Robert Maldonado  19:26

You can’t get yourself out or you only have one way of reacting and responding to stress. That becomes problematic for individuals because life is always throwing us curveballs, that’s just the nature of it. You can’t control everything. The affect then, when we think about shame, you can think of it as we all experience shame, it’s a natural part of being a human being, when we do something wrong or we just self reflect about something. You can start from the very beginning. As children, we’re always comparing ourselves to the other kids, some get the A’s, some get the B’s, some get the C’s.

Debra Maldonado  20:18

For women it’s their bodies, their aging, for men it’s more success. But I think now it’s both for all of us.

Robert Maldonado  20:25

Around money, around what your father did.

Debra Maldonado  20:29

Did you have children? I had shame that I didn’t have children, like I was barren. I’m laughing and that’s actually an effective defense, I’m gonna cry now. But we all have something we regret in life. But it doesn’t have to be this deep depression, I’m gonna hide in my house and never leave because of that. But there’s these little things in our life that we’re like “I wish I would have handled that better. I could have done that better.”

Robert Maldonado  20:59

That playing out of shame in the affect is flexible. Most of us are flexible in responding to that.

Debra Maldonado  21:11

If you hurt someone’s feelings, you feel ashamed, but you talk about it, you can be open and vulnerable with that other person.

Robert Maldonado  21:19

If we think of mood as long term pitch of the emotional life, shame has taken over or hasn’t been dealt with and has been taking root in the individual, has become a deep sense of inadequacy, unworthiness.

Debra Maldonado  21:44

Nothing is ever good enough. I’m never going to be loved. No one loves me, that self loathing.

Robert Maldonado  21:52

Self loathing is a big part of it. But in the realm of mood, when that becomes the individual’s way of experiencing themselves, then it’s a bigger problem. That’s when people talk about toxic shame, or shame as being something that needs attention, therapy.

Debra Maldonado  22:19

It’s like that person can’t see outside of it. They get rigid, everything filters through that now. Someone says “You did a great job.” They’re like “I did a great job? Did I not do a great job the last time?” Someone would say “You lost a ton of weight.” I’d be like “Was I bigger than?” But if you always see everything like someone’s insulting me, you can’t even accept compliments. Your mood is longer.

Robert Maldonado  22:55

It’s a long standing pattern. It might be unconscious. Also, it might be hidden even from the individual, they might not realize that they’re experiencing shame. But they’re seeing the world through that filter of inadequacy, of “I don’t belong, I’ll never fit in, I’ll never have what others have”, all those things.

Debra Maldonado  23:20

I think that we have all those moments, the affects, but I think people misdiagnose themselves. They have these moments, then it’s made a dysfunction because you had these moments. What we want to do is normalize that we all have these times. If you can bounce back after it, or maybe it’s a couple of weeks where you go through it, but you’re out of it, it doesn’t mean you have a dysfunction, it just means you’re human, and you know how to deal with them.

Robert Maldonado  23:46

Another way to think about it is a spectrum. But on the light side, embarrassment. It’s a social instrument that we use to gauge how we’re doing in a group. Sometimes we embarrass ourselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It gives us information about how we’re doing in the group, and how other people react to our words and our presence.

Debra Maldonado  24:20

Wrong thing, foot in the mouth kind of thing, or someone being triggered by something you said. But you can bounce back pretty well. You’re a little embarrassed, I didn’t really mean it that way.

Robert Maldonado  24:30

All the way to the extreme where you have this deep existential shame that you don’t feel worthy of life, don’t feel worthy of love.

Debra Maldonado  24:42

You just feel like no goodness can come to you. I’ve heard someone say once they felt like there’s something intrinsically wrong with them. You feel like you’re just wrong or off. That’s the extreme and most of us don’t fall into that, most of us bounce back. We have these moments, but then there’s an ongoing trigger around something that if we don’t deal with it, it’s just gonna keep coming up for us. That’s why we really have to figure out what the root is. What’s the root of shame?

Robert Maldonado  25:19

We can think that sense of unworthiness is at the root of shame. That sense of inadequacy, deficiency. I used to work with kids who had learning disorders. Their experience of shame was very deep, because here you are, as a kid starting out, and they’re pointing at you and saying everyone else in the class is okay, but you have some kind of disorder. We’re going to pull you out of class, put you in a special room with a special teacher.

Debra Maldonado  26:06

Other kids gang up because there’s something about being different, you’re not like us. It’s almost like a pattern of being human to ostracize a person who’s different in a way.

Robert Maldonado  26:19

Especially children.

Debra Maldonado  26:24

I was telling you when you and I first talked about this, when we first met, that’s how I felt being single. You’re at this wedding, all the couples and all your friends are getting married. And here I was at the singles table. When my friend got married, she called it the Desperado table. I’m at the Desperado table. It’s that shame of “You haven’t found anyone yet.” We all have those social— if we don’t fit in intellectually, but even the way we do things. In some cultures it’s about physical strength, some family cultures, about intellect, some it’s about being just like everybody else. We have this feeling we want to belong, but then when we don’t, because we’re all different, we have a little shame around that. Why can’t you be like your sister? Why can’t you be like your brother who gets A’s. We grade ourselves in school, and as adults, we compare ourselves to who gets the corner office, what kind of trash can you get based on your hierarchy in the company. There’s all this hierarchy. As humans, no matter what you do, there’s shame set up for you to fall into.

Robert Maldonado  27:47

It wouldn’t be a problem, because again, it’s a natural part of our psyche and the way we were evolved to react to each other. But there are no mechanisms for people to work through the shame. That’s the problem that it’s never addressed.

Debra Maldonado  28:08

No one admits they’re ashamed. They don’t want to admit it to themselves. They don’t want to show it.

Robert Maldonado  28:15

They’re ashamed of being ashamed. That’s a very real problem. You’re ashamed of being ashamed. That’s how anxiety gets rooted in the human mind.

Debra Maldonado  28:30

I was watching this show on mental illness. A lot of times people would say, if you had a friend who had cancer, you would say “My friend has cancer, or my family member has cancer, they’re going for treatment.” There’s no shame in that. But mental illness, you don’t want to mention “They’re going to a psychiatrist because they can’t regulate their emotions or their feel depressed.” You don’t want to mention that. A physical disorder is okay. But a mental disorder is shamed in a way. We are afraid, our mental state is we have to put the persona on, that we have it all together. That puts a lot of pressure on us. Shame goes in the shadow.

Robert Maldonado  29:14

Yes, but let’s talk about the defenses a little bit. We have natural defenses in our mind, ego defenses, a couple of the ones that are primarily employed in and dealing with shame. The first one is avoidance. We try to avoid situations where we experience shame.

Debra Maldonado  29:37

Like public speaking. That is why people are so afraid of being the center of attention. They want to blend in. Some people avoid social media altogether because they don’t like the attention. Some people love it, but some people really don’t. So avoidance.

Robert Maldonado  29:56

The other one is attacking others or attacking yourself, being very self critical.

Debra Maldonado  30:05

Criticism is a defense against shame. There was a Netflix show called 15 Minutes of Shame instead of 15 Minutes of Fame. They were showing all these people that maybe made a comment on social media. One of the examples was the guy who, when COVID first hit, got all the sanitizers and was just trying to make money. He wasn’t trying to hoard it, but the media totally distorted, made him this devil, and how he had to deal and how still he’s dealing two years later with the impact of people shaming him. We have all this energy in ourselves, it’s too painful to direct it ourselves. So we have to project it onto others. We look for scapegoats to project that shame onto. If you find yourself on social media criticizing other people or making comments and being negative, you’re really deflecting, it’s a defense. Where is that energy coming from? What are you trying to displace onto someone else? It’s almost like a way to gain your power.

Robert Maldonado  31:18

We see it in children. They act out, obviously, because they don’t have any other outlet. The kid that is singled out as different, as deficient somehow, the way to reassert their power is to act out to assert themselves aggressively sometimes. Often the bullies are experiencing shame but then expressing it in this attack towards others.

Debra Maldonado  31:55

You see this in many stories of bullies, they have deep shame that they haven’t coped with. But also the the other part, the other extreme is either you’re the bully, or you’re just really hard on yourself. I think there’s a smaller percentage of bullies, and most of us are just so hard on ourselves, we’re so self conscious and so self critical.

Robert Maldonado  32:22

You can think of perfectionism as being on that scale, or that spectrum of defending against shame.

Debra Maldonado  32:33

The more rigid you are about being perfect, the more self critical you’ll be. The more flexible you are, and more acceptable you are of your mistakes and owning up to them and being “It’s doesn’t define me, I said the wrong thing, it doesn’t make me a bad person”, being conscious of “It’s okay”, then you have a healthy relationship with shame. But if you feel like you need to defend against it so much, either get hard on yourself internally and not cope with it, or act out on others, then you really should pay attention because it’s not very healthy. Underneath that is anger and a lot of disruptive emotions.

Robert Maldonado  33:17

We can talk about physical health as well being impacted by holding in of that shame, not being able to express it or to work with it. We’re going to talk about how we work with shame. How can we start to undo its aversive effects, but also to use it in a creative way and hopefully, for those of you who have children, how to help them deal with these difficult emotions in a creative, productive way.

Debra Maldonado  34:02

I thought of one more defense, which we mentioned in the beginning, is humor. I know I use that. But if you think of comedians, they’re basically like the trickster. They’re making fun of themselves. It’s a way for them to cope, make fun of being ashamed. They do it in a very funny way. I think sometimes we do in our family, humor is a great defense. I find myself giggling sometimes when I am embarrassed, that way I cope with it.

Robert Maldonado  34:38

It’s a way to release some of the emotional energy. But it still doesn’t get to the deeper root. We want to get to the root of it. Let’s talk about how do we begin to approach shame?

Debra Maldonado  35:00

I think we need to first acknowledge that it’s normal, that it’s not to be shamed about. It’s a natural part, look at it as a gift that we have so we can cope and relate with others. It’s tenderness in a way because if we are intimate with our own shame, we can really connect with another person. If they’re feeling bad, we can have empathy for them, we can understand the struggle they have. Coaches and therapists are people that do helping work, being able to cope with your own shame helps you help others because it is like understanding the human nature and that it’s part of us but it’s not personal. I think that’s really the first step. It’s not like “I’m the only one in the world feeling this, it’s wrong.” It’s more normalizing it.

Robert Maldonado  36:00

That approach reframes what we’re working with, what we’re dealing with, instead of seeing it as something to get rid of, which is often what I hear people talking about. They’re trying to get rid of their shame, they see it as a big problem that has befallen them, they desperately want to get rid of it. But what that does is it simply reactivates the defense mechanisms. The defense mechanisms are usually more powerful than anything you got as far as tools to work with emotions. They don’t get anywhere. You have to first approach it with deeper understanding that this is totally natural, it’s a part of our human nature, our human mind. Therefore, I’m not trying to get rid of it, I’m not seeing it as something to be stamped out and ostracize.

Debra Maldonado  37:07

We’re not robots or stones, we are emotive humans. That’s an emotion, it’s part of being human.

Robert Maldonado  37:18

Instead of seeing it as something to get rid of, see it as an opportunity. You’re approaching it with an openness, with a friendliness, a kindness, just the way you would approach a close friend that comes to you and says “I feel shame.” You would not try to get rid of them, that will just reinforce their feeling of shame. You would ask them with an open mind “How do you feel? What’s going on? Tell me more.”

Debra Maldonado  37:55

Non-judgment around it is the key. It shows up a lot on social media, I just watch and wonder how people just get all caught up in this back and forth comments, or making nasty comments. Everyone sees them. A lot of coaches or people that are entrepreneurs want to have their social media, they’re so afraid of the criticism. That’s healthy if you can deal with criticism as a healthy way to deal with shame, because they’re criticizing you, and they can only criticize what you believe is true. If you don’t believe it true, then it’s their stuff that they’re throwing out there. That would be a great way to deal with shame, look at the criticism you’re getting. It’s really reflective of what you’re feeling about yourself, not them, then they’re projecting onto you what they think about them. Imagine a mirror, you’re on social media, people are gonna see themselves through you and reflect through you. Just like you’re going to reflect what you see. When you’re looking at that projection, you’re understanding “I know a little bit more about myself, thank you for criticizing me on that thing because now I can understand where I’m not feeling 100% on that.” Reeling it in, that’s where you recreate, reclaim your power, not fighting with other people online or hiding because you’re afraid of what people think. It really builds strength to look at your shame and really welcome it and see it in non-judgement. It gives you courage and bravery.

Robert Maldonado  39:40

So step one, acknowledge that the shame is a natural part of our mind. Step two, invite it in in a friendly, open way. It’s like inviting an old friend and being there for them. The third step is what Jung would call integration. Because you’re acknowledging that this is an opportunity and you’re being friendly and open and inviting this emotion in, instead of labeling it, judging it, trying to push it away and get rid of it, you’re able to integrate it into your awareness in a creative, productive way. That energy is holding that shame or that you’ve identified as shame and pushed away into the unconscious, into the shadow, now becomes accessible to you. Because every emotion is essentially psychological energy for us. We invite that shame into our awareness, we’re able to integrate it, that energy now becomes accessible to us for creativity, for love, for emotion.

Debra Maldonado  41:15

I think if you love yourself more, you can love your shame, you can have this unconditional love. I only love myself when I’m feeling confident. You know what, love yourself when you’re feeling ashamed. Then when you see other people acting out, deflecting shame, you can recognize it. You could send love to them, instead of getting triggered by them or defending against them. You could say “That person must seem to be struggling right now” versus making them wrong and fighting with other people. It’s like you’re making friends with yourself, then the world is friendlier to you. That’s really the key, how you relate to yourself is how you relate to the world.

Robert Maldonado  41:58

The reason this works is because if you think about this feeling, interpretation of events or situations that happen to you early on, is arising in your mind. Shame is not coming from the outside, it’s arising in your mind, you’ve been holding it in place by pushing it away, by labeling it as bad, by saying “I don’t want to feel this feeling because it doesn’t feel good.” When we react to that, if it doesn’t feel good, I have to push it away, I have to get rid of it. We’re acting in a very simplistic way with our mind, we’re not really working with it intuitively, instinctually, or intelligently.

Debra Maldonado  42:52

The key overall is flexibility with ourselves, walking away from rigidness, the hard self punishment, self judgment, be more kind and compassionate to ourselves in all the states and moods we have. That helps us have a friendlier environment with others and the world feels friendlier. It doesn’t feel like you have to walk on with armor all the time, we can be free, vulnerable, open, strong, courageous.

Robert Maldonado  43:28

We know it’s not easy. These are difficult things, but at least it’s the beginning of ability to transform, to work with your own mind, these difficult emotions. If you have children, start teaching them about this, just teach them to acknowledge their emotions, to be able to observe them and talk about them, so that just because they feel bad, they’re not pushed away or pushed into the shadow, they’re able to work with them in a creative way.

Debra Maldonado  44:09

A lot of children are ashamed to tell their parents about being bullied, they hide it. It’s recognizing those signs and making it normal for them to feel, that’s part of being human, not pushing it away, not freaking out about it. I’m not telling you punch the kid back, it’s how you can approach it in a very conscious way. A great topic, this was really deep. A very good core of a lot of what we struggle with, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Maybe at the end of this you might go from “I don’t have any shame” to “I have a little.” Then micro shaming of just being in the world and comparing ourselves to others, where we are in our life, judging what we accomplished, especially New Year, “What happened in 2021? Why didn’t I reach those goals?” The anxiety of reaching the next level in our life. Just know that’s all rooted in shame. We’re trying to prove to the world we’re worthy. Worthiness, lovable, and we belong.

Robert Maldonado  45:27

That we’re enough.

Debra Maldonado  45:29

We already are worthy, loved, and belong. We just have to accept that no matter what we do. Nothing can ever change that.

Robert Maldonado  45:37

Next week we wanted to talk about the myth of Helen of Troy.

Debra Maldonado  45:43

Romantic love, can it be destructive or creative? Exciting topic. Thank you, everyone, for joining us, and we will see you next week.

Robert Maldonado  45:57

Stay well, thanks for watching.

Read More