I’ve been making a personal study of shame over the last few months, digging into what it is, what it does, where it comes from, how to respond to it.
For many of us, shame is one of the most punishing feelings. In fact, it is so punishing that we have all sorts of elaborate mechanisms of contorting ourselves around shame and converting the shame into something else, all in an effort to avoid actually experiencing it. We’re so ashamed of our shame that many of us can’t even admit to ourselves that we feel shame!
Dear Marta: How can I use my intuition in relationships?
Dear Reader: I’m so glad you asked!
This shows a real sensitivity to others in your life.
You’re aware that you want to use your intuition in a way that doesn’t sound like “My way or the highway!" or "No, I don’t need to explain my thinking to you because my wisdom is so far beyond reason you wouldn’t understand.”
In other words, you want to use your intuition with confidence and in a way that’s not presumptuous or absolutist.
Here’s the guiding question I would keep in mind when navigating this realm of intuition-in-use:
For many years in my life, I struggled to form real connections with others. I hid my feelings, even from myself, and rarely could I manage to articulate the intricacies of my heart and mind. On some unspoken level, I didn’t feel safe.
Aware of this need for safety, I was on high alert for danger cues, vigilant for signs that someone may be untrustworthy or some other form of bad news. But the truth - to paraphrase doctor and researcher Stephen Porges - is that safety is so much more than the absence of danger, and that safety can be created.