Sep 20, 2020

Healing Toxic Shame

by Lisa A. Romano

codependency conscience toxic shame

Healing Toxic Shame 

If you are a healthy person,  you have a conscience and this aspect of your personality can help you curb behaviors that are not in alignment with your personal value system. When your conscience helps you recognize how screaming at your kids hurts their souls, upon reflection, the pain you feel when considering how your children feel can assist you as you reach for more patience in the future. In the future, when you exercise more patience with your children, you experience a boost in your personal moral. You feel better about yourself and your children feel better about you too, as well as themselves. 

When our conscience operates without shame spirals, we experience personal emotional, spiritual, and even mental growth. When we are humble enough to 'listen' to our conscience, we can change the course of our lives and overcome just about any obstacle thrown our way. 

But what happens when shame takes over the voice of our conscience and we are paralyzed by fear, guilt, and tremendous self doubt? 


Making Peace With Shame


When Shame Hijacks Your Conscience

Healthy people have a consciences. This is an aspect of our Super Ego that sends our Ego information about what one considers just, right, moral and good. If you have been shamed in childhood, it is not uncommon to have shame override the voice of your conscience. When this happens, it is possible to become debilitated by anxiety brought about through shame. 

Parents Sometimes Shame Their Children into Submission

Even the most well intended parents can find themselves shaming their children for all sorts of reasons. When parents use shame to manipulate their children's emotions, the ever learning Super Ego is taking on all of the information being downloaded. It is quite possible to feel shame simply for having a need of any kind, large or small. 

As an adult, as the conscience continues to direct the Ego to act in moral and just ways, (according to the downloaded rules received in childhood) shame can arrest the mind, body and soul. 

Making Peace with Shame

On my own journey, I had to come face to face with shame in order to allow myself to work with my conscience rather than allow shame to keep me stuck. Shame felt like a huge boulder that fueled my codependency. 

The more shame I felt, the more I subconsciously believed I deserved to be treated poorly. Shame prevented me from altering behaviors that needed to be changed. When I finally embraced my shame, and made peace with it, it was then I was able to allow my conscience to do its job. 


When you have never known unconditional love or forgiveness, you do not know how to maturely handle your conscience when it tugs on your sleeve and says, "Umm...that's not could have done better." 


  • Doing better is all part of why you have incarnated on planet earth.
  • You have come to grow yourself up, but when you have been manipulated in childhood, abused by neglectful parents, even if they were well-meaning, it is not uncommon for shame to arrest the ability to burn off immature ego responses. 
  • A healthy conscience helps guide you towards more moral, just, fair, compassionate behavior. 
  • Shame prevents the mind from being able to correct poor behaviors. 
  • When we address shame, we grow in incredible ways. 

It Won't Be Easy But You Can Do It

The world is full of people who lie and try to pretend they are happier and healthier than they actually are. This might be because our culture is obsessed with illusions. We THINK that if people THINK we are happy, then we are worthy, and all this does is fuel the unhappiness of the world. 

When I finally STOPPED pretending I was okay, and I allowed myself to understand where shame was coming from, I LET GO of needing to be the illusion OTHERS wanted me to be. 

When I finally STOPPED and accepted I had been shamed as a child, and I began to understand my INNER CHILD, it was then I was learning how to reparent myself in an unconditional loving way. 

When I began to forgive my mistakes, and my ego blunders, that is when my self esteem began to rise because I no longer felt like a circus pony whose job it was to keep others feeling good about themselves, while I imploded a little more each and every day.  

When I began to accept that people were going to walk away because I refused to continue to be THEIR source of narcissistic supply, and I acknowledged that it was my responsibility to rely on myself and NOT others for acceptance, it was then that  shame had less control over me. 

When I listened to my conscience, rather than recoiled from shame, I found myself more humbled, grateful, accountable, and patient with myself and others. 


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Lisa A. Romano is a Certified Life Coach, bestselling author, podcaster, online training facilitator, and YouTube Vlogger specializing in codependency and narcissistic abuse recovery. She is also one of the most listened to meditation teachers on the world’s largest meditation app Insight Timer.  Lisa’s podcast Breakdown to Breakthrough can be found on any podcasting platform.  
 Lisa's work helps awaken people to the idea that what is wrong is not them, it is only their programming. Her 12 Week Breakthrough Coaching Program takes members through three months of online video training, meditations, and journaling assignments, that have been designed to help awaken them to their true selves. Those who participate in this online training, are those who demand more out of the lives today, in spite of any painful past.  They are people who have a deep desire to understand how to connect with the power that lies within. Lisa teaches people how to clear away the limiting beliefs, perceptions, and habits of behavior that have been preventing them from harnessing their ability to control their thoughts, emotions, behaviors and destinies.  Healing is as much a neurological, cognitive, emotional and spiritual experience and Lisa’s approach encompasses them all.  To learn more, you can visit