If you feel shame, it is a feeling you shouldn’t have to continue feeling, especially if you feel shame due to what someone else has done to you. Often, shame is the result of a secret that we hide and don’t want others to find out. The same applies to guilt, and you shouldn’t feel guilty if you weren’t to blame for a problem. However, if your conscience reminds you of guilt, then you must right any wrong you may have done to another. This may be equated to the Christian terminology of being convicted of your sin, when the Holy Spirit brings a problem that needs attention to consciousness and this is an opportunity to make amends and then turn away from what you might have done, and not to repeat past mistakes, which is called repentance.
Shame is a feeling of being unworthy, of feeling condemned. You should never feel condemned and unworthy. In Christian terminology, this is when Satan has hold of you as only he will make you feel condemned as less worthy than you are. God wants you to step into His wonderful purpose for you, and He doesn’t want you to feel there is something wrong with you if you are following the right path.
There is a difference between feeling shame and feeling humility. Shame is a sense that there is something wrong with one, whilst humility is being humble and not having an over-inflated sense of self-worth. If you feel shame, work through this emotion, and don’t allow yourself to believe you are any less worthy than anyone else, for any reason.
Shame and guilt are often used in manipulation. Someone may try to get you to feel ashamed that you haven’t measured up to his or her standards or guilty that you haven’t accomplished as much as he has. Perhaps you could accomplish more. Resolve to try harder the next time. Know that you can turn situations around. If you feel shame because you have been sexually or physically abused or emotionally bullied, this is trauma that needs to be worked through and healed. We may carry shame for many years and may not even realise the impact events had on us as they are too deep within our consciousness. Shame could arise because, for example, people may discover family secrets. Believe in yourself as a person of worth, in spite of any past or in spite of your imperfections. You also don’t need to tell anyone about any of your past, if you don’t want to, unless this has a material bearing on your present. For example, if you have been abused, no-one needs to know because that is a personal detail of your life and is something that happened to you and is now over, but people might need to be informed if you were sentenced for a crime.