Shame is one of our most painful, powerful, and complex emotions. Unlike guilt, which is usually focused on a particular behavior or action, shame is an intense judgment of self. It instills feelings of being flawed and unworthy, and it is usually introduced to us through external criticism or ridicule for having done, expressed, or believed something considered socially inappropriate, unacceptable, or harmful. Shame motivates us to withdraw, hide, and disconnect from others, to mask crucial parts of ourselves, or to lash out aggressively in self-defense. We all carry the weight of shame, but it is possible to free ourselves from its immense burden and live fully into our whole being.