Fascinating!

Finished the book,....as though that were important! I can see the confusion between being a 'do-er' and a 'be-er'.This is the first concept I get this morning. Shame-based people were rewarded for their achievements, not for just be-ing who they were. (Whether or not this was taught or simply accepted on my own is in question, but it seems I adopted the concept.) It suggests that one is ashamed of who they are, 'Not-good-enough', so they try to do things "outside" to make up for the feelings "inside". It's a neurotic behavior. They're high-achievers, or at least try to achieve a lot, as a measure of their worth to fix their feelings about themselves. The shame usually comes from their family of origin (immediate family) and all sorts of occasions of misinterpretation by the young self 0-7 years old. The 'self' protects its being by creating a 'false self' when it denies a trauma that it cannot dealt with, temporarily, so it can deal with the perceived trauma at a later time. However, IF the trauma (shame) is internalized (becomes part of the identity of the false self), the false self may not let the authentic self back to consciousness until much later in life...if at all.  The task (beingness) now is to become aware of the shame(s) that are still carried, and re-integrate them into the self. The parents shame is from their own lives, they transfer them to the children as a defense to having to admit to THEIR own shame. Shamed people tend to marry, so they both give their shame-to-be-hidden-from-awareness to their children; unknowingly, i.e., they are not aware of their shame either, it's usually subconscious.  Two things: first, learn to give the shame back to the parent who gave it to you to carry it for them; and two, learn to accept the reason to feel flawed as a defense of your authentic self, a worthwhile defense. Integrating the shame lets you become human. It's who you are: flawed, imperfect. God(s) are perfect, humans are not. The need for 'Perfectionistic' is based on the belief that you must be MORE than human (never admit to making a mistake), or to be LESS than human ("I'm so bad no one will ever be able to help me"). Learning to be human is learning that humans make mistakes, it's part of who we are, and it's okay. Being human is difficult, but it's not a problem to be solved, it's an experience to be lived. Shame is the problem to be solved, it keeps us from loving ourselves as we are, as though we're 'supposed' to be something other than who we are. So now, after I study for my final exam, I have to begin to integrate all this information back in to my life. I have to re-read the 'dog-earred pages' and all the 'under-lined' lines-of-importance, and apply them, not just collect them as knowledge. Plus, there's one more book on its way that I need to read. (not to mention the new textbook for the second semester, which starts next Wednesday).  Of course there's a ton more of information to be learned , understood, an applied yet. Just reading it doesn't mean I've learned it or can apply it. Several meditations to do, lots of key shames to identify and absorb. Other principles to highlight besides the "Reader's Digest" version I've just given. But Bradshaw went to great lengths to identify shame as the fundamental founding principle for all addictions, and flatly states that codependency is an addictive behavior, just like I've believed since I started my recovery. So now the "Hero's Journey", to apply this new knowledge so I can meet my child-like authentic self that has been in hiding for many, many years. The whole new idea is that I am a human, flawed as a human 'being', and who I am is good enough, even with my shame(s). We'll see how I do...in the meantime... Have a great Sunday! (Or sundae, if you're having ice-cream.)  P.S.: One of the things I love about DS is that I get to talk about things I'm interested in with others who enjoy talking about similar things, personal growth, freedom from mental anguish about who we are.