A Feelingwork Session in Detail: Receiving Love

Exploring Shame


S: Noticing the Shame, I don’t think I knew that. I think that was a discovery that there was some Shame. And in particular that the Shame was that there was a good reason this all showed up, but then the reason was done with, and it could have gone away but it just didn’t know how.

J: Yeah?

S: If I were to describe it, it feels like this little porcupine. But all curled up, where it’s just all spikes, you know?

J: Hm. 

S: And that actually feels like it’s the feeling that’s at the heart of it. It’s like, if I weren’t ashamed, the Fear would go away, which means there wouldn’t be the need for the steel plate. And the Shame is almost like, it’s like I brought on myself this not being able to receive love. (I don’t know, I’m not saying this very well.)

J: What it sounds like is that the Shame is what grounds the interpretation that it’s not OK to receive love.

S: Yeah, yeah.

J: You haven’t been able to figure out how to let this Fear go…

S: Yeah. And it’s almost like I don’t deserve to, like if I created all this nonsense, and I don’t know how to get rid of it, well…! You know: of course I can’t receive love, and why should I be able to, having done all this silly stuff. You know?

J: Yeah. OK.

I had originally been on track with Susan to move the two states No! and Fearful Fear. As this was a demonstration session, I hadn’t intended to go more deeply than these two. But Susan was surprised by her discovery of the Shame and wanted to explore it. As she poked around at it, it become clear that the Shame served to anchor the whole set of feelings in place. The Shame seemed to be holding the Fearful Fear in place, which in turn seemed to be holding the No! in place. 

We often find these kinds of chains of control in feeling states. When I am conducting a limited session where my client’s intention is to get the maximum benefit in the shortest time, my goal is to quickly identify what I call the “pivot” state around which the entire pattern set revolves. Releasing the pivot often clears the way for a natural release of the full pattern. In this case, it’s clear that the best results will happen if we include the Shame in our list of states to complete.