We all grow up with a certain set of values and messages (spoken or unspoken) that guide our actions and internal thoughts.
Many of the values messages we heard are undoubtedly good. We learn from a young age to be truthful, act with kindness, and hopefully, we experience unconditional love.
At the same time, even the most well-intentioned parent will at times act or speak in ways that negatively impact the tender spirit of their children. Indeed, it is an unavoidable part of being human. We all have our baggage.
The family and culture we are raised in influence our values and the messages we receive about acceptable behavior. On a more subtle level, we are also raised with a certain level of self-esteem, self-respect, and self-acceptance.
As we grow into adulthood, the baggage from our childhood becomes our responsibility to address. Additionally, as we recognize patterns of thought or behavior that are unhealthy or unwise, we must do the work to reframe and retrain.
One powerful emotion that can arise from the baggage of life is shame. How we view ourselves and our actions in the world is rooted in how we were raised and influences our feelings of shame.
Shame is a universal emotion, and like all others, it has a purpose and a dark side.