By Ricardo Herrera
Inspirational speaker Troy L. Love was back in the Schoening Conference Center once again, teaching students how to be innovative and creative, how to excel and, this time, how to heal from shame.
Love, who got his master's in social work at the University of Pittsburgh, has more than 17 years' experience in the field. He is trained extensively in addiction recovery and in emotionally focused couples therapy.
At the beginning of his presentation, titled "Shame, Shame I Know Your Name," Love showed the three aspects of shame -- anger, fear and sadness. Various kinds of mental wounds are obstacles in everyday life and eventually become bigger, he said. Bullying, losing a family member or rejection are causes of mental injuries that may become compounded over time. Before that happens, though, the individual needs to seek help because it may lead to shame.
"Everyone has shame, even if people deny it," Love said. "The only people who don¥t feel shame and have no emotions are sociopaths."
It's better to admit shame than to deny it, he said, adding that people take shame differently. Some people can hide their shame and control it, but others can't contain it.
He also showed videos that explained the meaning of shame and showed examples.
Love proved that there are many ways to control shame and even offered inspirational messages for people to feel better, such as, "You are you, no matter what others say."
Negative messages that increase shame include, for example, "Don't cry, or I'll give you a reason to cry," and bring back memories from childhood when parents or grandfathers might have said something similar.
Love also read from pieces of paper written by members of the audience in answer to the question, "What is vulnerability?" Love said that vulnerability is when we feel insecure, like children.
Love closed with a message from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson: ®Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us."
Further information is available at lifestarofyuma.com, the only sexual-addiction program in Yuma County, where Love is currently the facilitator.
Graphic by Pam Black