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Most of us were raised in a shame-based culture. We may have been shamed for being "too much" (too energetic, too noisy), or for refusing to obey the authorities in our life. We may have been shamed for having sexual impulses, or for being female, or male (or not being sure), for our choice of clothes, career, friends, music, or spirituality.

It is important to understand the function of shame, so that we can remove all the unhelpful patterns of shame we still hold. Healthy shame will help us to live in harmony with others, but unhealthy shame can make us anxious, depressed, stressed, and even physically ill.