Do you ever take a ride on the shame train? The shame train is when one horrible thought you may have about yourself turns into another and then another. The shame train makes stops at sadville, depressionfield, and sometimes even hoplessness zone. The end of the track is usually where you feel like you might the worst person who has ever lived. The shame train is not a fun ride and the biggest problem is once you get on, it can really be difficult to get off.
To best understand the shame train, it helps to have a good understanding of shame itself. Shame is an overall feeling of not being good enough, not knowing things that others know, being bad, or feeling you are not worth much. Shame is a deep wound that is started in childhood and continues to grow and get worse as we age. Shame can be felt regarding our jobs, in our marriage, with our friends, in hobbies, or with any aspect of our life. Unfortunately, shame is the root of addiction, obsessions, and can cause depression. Sometimes shame just rears its ugly head for a short period of time, and can be easily squashed within an hour or two. But sometimes it starts speeding out of control and before you even know it you can be in an ugly place emotionally.
We start riding the shame train when the first shame thought comes across the mind and then a second comes right after. If someone has a really bad day at work they might say, “I am the worst (occupation) ever.” They get home and check the mailbox to find a late notice on a bill they forgot to pay. “I am a horrible husband and father because I cannot even pay the bills on time.” “If I cannot pay the bills on time my wife is going to be mad at me. I deserve it because I am a bad partner anyway.” After each negative thought comes the next one and it comes out even faster than the first. When you are speeding out of control with negative thought after negative thought you are now on the shame train.
If most people really paid attention to their self talk they would probably be surprised about how mean they can really be to themselves. If you cannot talk yourself up, appreciate who you are, and love yourself, than who can? Riding the shame train causes deep emotional pain. It hurts relationships in your life and hinders you from being the person you are suppose to be. It can affect you negatively at your job, with friends, or doing activities you would normally enjoy. Don’t ride the shame train another minute, life and happiness are waiting!