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  • Barbara Richter

What About Shame?

Shame has been on my mind lately. Shame is the strangest of human experiences. It's a man-made feeling that holds our self-worth against some external standard. Shame can control our subconscious thoughts, which in turn manipulate our behavior. Well-intentioned parents, teachers, managers and even advertisers create this perception of what we are supposed to do to be successful, happy, and included. When our experiences fall short of this perceived standard, we lower our self-worth and carry shame. Sometimes we get so stuck in our day to day that we don't realize it is even there. We just struggle and hurt. When we believe this false story we have created in our minds, that doesn't measure up to our perception of who we really are we become trapped in the effort to be that which is not really us. This is a source of depression, anxiety, suicide, and drug abuse in our world today. What do we do? We find ways to numb it out. But it doesn't go away. We numb harder. It's a vicious loop.

Healing shame requires a tremendous degree of vulnerability and courage. A willingness to step back and decide which of these perceived standards are really worthy of pursuit. Which are garbage. Looking at the source. Looking at what's true within yourself when all the eternal crap is peeled away. This is not easy. This is necessary. This is worthwhile.

At the ranch we have created a safe space where you can leave behind everything that is not you. A safe place to release. The horses will hold that space and mirror back to you in a way that affirms what is true and what is external. As this "Who Am I" begins to sort out, you will gain a sense of clarity. From there decisions you made can have an internal place to come from. Granted, you will likely fall back into old patterns, but you will possess the ability to recognize when that happens. This is where the growth begins.

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