Body Whispers; Toxic Shame Healing Overview.
Among many of the amazing authors I had come across within my years of Trauma healing, Dr. Peter Levine is one that I refer back to frequently. His book:"Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma" (1997) - Dr. Levine explores the impact of trauma on the body and mind and offers insights into healing through the Somatic Experiencing method.
On my journey through the intricate layers of chronic shame, I found myself embarking on a an exploration of the shadows within, where I came face to face with a complex dance—a silent force intricately woven through the threads of pain, anxiety, and the heavy cloak of depression. In this YouTube Video Dr. Levine, sums up a profound amount of information connecting our body and Shame.
Dr. Levine. explains that chronic shame acts as a subtle cancer, an emotional tumor that thrives on the wounds of trauma and betrayal. What I discovered, is what he talks about in this video, was that this experience of shame extended beyond the mere confines of the mind; it was etched deeply into the very fabric of my being.
Dr. Levine guides listeners through the intricacies of toxic shame, revealing two primary sources from which it springs. The first source, rooted in childhood trauma, left an indelible mark, a pervasive sense of inherent badness and fundamental discord within myself. Often times we might feel that 'we have the weight of the world on our shoulders' and quite honestly we begin to lead life in this way. For me, it was as if I had tried to shoulder the blame for mistreatment, seeking control in the face of the uncontrollable. The second source, the fear of ostracization, resonated with the tribal teachings of our primitive instincts, where exclusion equated to a potential threat to survival. I talk about this with in my program "From Survival to Self Love"- Moving from Tribal mindset to Loving of Self for Tribe.
Reflecting on this journey, revisiting the landscape of my adolescent self allowed me to dive into the lingering pain of exclusion, the excruciating experience of being cast out from peer groups. It was a visceral sensation, similar to the primal fear of death, reverberating through my adolescence. How often had I felt that sharp pang of exclusion, the sudden shift from being a confidant to a mere bystander? This narrative was not just my own but a thread woven into the collective tapestry of human experiences.
In this video Dr. Levine, directs listeners toward a pivotal shift in posture—a conscious movement from the collapsed stance of shame to the open, extended posture symbolizing pride and dignity. This transformation is a powerful exercise, not just for our body but for our very soul. It has a process of reclaiming not only our bodily dignity but the very essence of authentic pride. It serves as a poignant reminder that the opposite of shame was not mere absence but a profound sense of self-love and acceptance. Acknowledging that shame resides in our body, we can begin to connect the body to the emotional states that we are healing . When we are able to connect healing in a holistic manner we are able to see that it is critical to learn how to slow down and listen to what our body is telling us. The vital to integrate Self-Care and Slowing down as part of the process. Healing is an experience, not just a task.
I invite you to embark on this journey, immerse yourself in the wisdom it unfolds, and traverse the path toward self-acceptance and freedom from unnecessary suffering. For it is in embracing the darkness that we uncover the alchemy of transformation.