A Feelingwork Session in Detail: Receiving Love

Identifying Shame


J: So you mentioned something like a little feeling of shame. I wonder if that word points to something else that’s connected to this, or if the shame is an attribute of the fog itself.

S: The shame seems to be that it would leave if it knew how but it doesn’t. Not a shame that it appeared, but that it was meant to be temporary, and it somehow got trapped. You know? It was really just like a bad weather day. Really, really it was meant that the next morning, you wake up and there’s sunshine.

J: Right.

S: But somehow that didn’t happen. And then it didn’t happen and it didn’t happen, and here it is.

J: Yeah. OK. So there’s some shame about this existing here, about this being here. It’s sort of a…

S: And that it never meant to stay. The shame is, it was like, yeah, it was a real feeling when it occurred, like the fear was real in the moment, maybe even appropriate, but then whatever triggered it, it was over.

J: Right.

S: But it’s still here.

J: Right. OK. So does it make sense for us to add the feeling Shame to the list of states that are relevant here?

S: Yeah.

J: OK.

First I ask a clarifying question, inviting Susan to compare her felt experience of the label “shame” to the already mapped fog of Fearful Fear. Her reply expresses a relationship between the shame and the Fearful Fear in which the shame seems to be a reaction to the Fearful Fear’s failure to dissipate. If shame is a response to the Fearful Fear, it is different from it, and so I confirm the name and add it to the list of states we are exploring.