Guilt says “I did something bad.” Shame says “I AM bad!” I am guilty of many misdeeds in my life, but I am beyond the point of feeling any shame. I am not a bad person; yes, I’ve done some terrible things, of that I am guilty. Shame is an intrinsic feeling of worthlessness and self-pity. One cannot be truly happy if they have a sense of shame and think they’re worthless. I did for most of my life and was miserable. As my guilt grew, my shame became gargantuan and all but destroyed me. There is no need to let it go that far; just because you have a spotty past; it is no reason to feel shameful. One can absolutely feel guilty about the things they’ve done without feeling as though they are a horrible person. Doing bad things does not necessarily make one a bad person. I know many people, myself included, who have unleashed much ill-will upon the world (and also on themselves) and have turned their life around for the better.
Mind you, these aren’t super-human individuals; they have simply worked diligently to get to the point they are at. Feelings of shame won’t change without a change of outlook. Rather than feeling awful and sorry for yourself; be filled with gratitude for the POSITIVE. I have a walker, but I have legs! People would have me feel shameful and sit on my pity-pot, but I will emphatically deny their requests. I do not subscribe to those who would have feel ill-will towards me. Like I said, it has the power to consume a person; sometimes it’s even deadly. I am absolutely not a doctor or therapist, I am simply someone who (with much help) has survived the trenches and can speak to the sense of ease of relieving those feelings of worthlessness. If you feel this way, you are not alone with your feelings. You are never alone.