Reply To: Confused on how to approach the Guilt and Shame
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Thank you for taking the time to post. I appreciate your candor.
Firstly, I do not wish to flood you with platitudes, but only EVERYONE makes mistakes, and many adults have thought about mistakes they have made or could have made – in many realms. However, you can let these go and see them more as life lessons or “contexts.” In a sense, you are punishing yourself for something that ONLY happened in the mental world. The only place these affairs are happening now…is in your mind.
I could write an essay about this, but for now…yes, you can absolutely resolve the shame and you can resolve the punishment you are doling out on yourself.
Without knowing all of the PSTEC tools you have at your disposal, I will assume you have the Basic Click Tracks and no extras. Please tell me if you have any of the other tracks, so I can make more extensive suggestions. Some of the other tracks can eliminate the pattern even more efficiently. It would save you some time.
Using the Basic Click Tracks, though, rate your feelings of shame. Really TRY to make those feelings as strong as possible.
Imagine that you had gone ahead and had an affair. Make this real.
Imagine how you would have felt after doing this. You are already imagining this, of course, so make that as strong as possible.
Do any other memories bring up a sense of shame within you?
Click Track these separately.
Now, bring up the embarrassment.
Imagine telling your husband what you did. Imagine his reaction. Imagine his hurt. Imagine the possible jeopardy this will have added to your marriage. Imagine your worst case scenario.
Perhaps this will be filed under “fear,” so do resolve that.
Rate the feelings from 0-10
Run the Click Track again.
Keep Click Tracking until those emotions go as low as you can possible get them. A 0 or 1 is the goal here.
Run the Click Tracks as often as it takes and ensure that you vary the tracks – use track 1 and track 2, in other words. This issue does not have to be cleared in one day. Be your own therapist here.
See if any other unwanted emotions surface when you think of the memories. Maybe some other memories will.
Then, Click Track the other times you had affairs. See if the shame is attached to the memories and neutralise that emotion.
I would also recommend seeing what feelings are driving the behaviour that has led you to having affairs…or being tempted to have them.
There will be beliefs that feed into this pattern, and you will surely have beliefs about the behaviour too. These can be cleared (will save that for a future post).
But…think back to just before you had considered cheating. What type of thoughts and feelings were percolating?
Go back there and see if you can rekindle what you felt, saw, heard and told yourself.
Did you get a “buzz” from feeling desired? Was it a sense of danger that drove you? Was it attraction? Did you not feel “enough” and then did feel enough when someone was desiring you?
Perhaps it was none of these things, but there is surely a pattern here.
Whatever drove the behaviour/impulse, I would recommend re-visiting these memories and CT those individual moments for which you now feel shame and embarrassment.
I look forward to learning how you get on with this,
Paul McCabe – PSTEC Master Practitioner
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