02/29/2016 04:00 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2017

Are You Often Seen as 'The Bad Guy'?

Do you or others often see you as "the bad guy"? Are you tired of being seen as the wrong or inadequate one? Discover how core shame may be causing you much pain in your relationships, and how to heal this.

Tamara and Douglas had been married for 6 years when they sought my help for their marriage problems.

"I cannot remember a single day since we've been married that we haven't fought," stated Tamara in our first session. "I know that both of us are getting tired of it, yet we can't seem to stop."

As we explored the problems in their marriage, it because apparent that neither Tamara nor Douglas knew anything about taking care of themselves. Both were volatile people who didn't want to be controlled and wanted to be in control. Both were highly critical of both themselves and each other, and both responded to the other's criticism with anger.

In separate, individual sessions, both had stated to me, "I feel like I'm always the bad guy. I don't want to be the bad guy. I was the bad guy when I was growing up and I just don't want to be seen as the bad guy anymore."

Yet both believed that they were basically and essentially bad, flawed and inadequate. Because they each believed this about themselves, they were constantly judging themselves and then projecting their judgments onto each other. As a result, the slightest criticism would trigger their sense of badness and inadequacy and they would each attack and defend in their efforts to not be seen by the other as bad.

The basis of the ego wounded self in all of us is the core shame belief that we are basically and essentially bad, flawed, unlovable or somehow inadequate. From this core shame belief springs all of our protections against what we perceive as rejection. As long as we believe we are bad or unlovable, we will take other's behavior personally -- believing that it is our fault that we are being rejected.

In order to heal core shame, it is essential that we differentiate between who we are as our false self -- our wounded self -- and who we really are.

Who we really are is a perfect and individualized expression of the Divine. Each of us is an immortal soul, created in the image of the love that is God. As a soul, we each decide to come into a body in order to learn and evolve in our ability to love and to express our individualized gifts. This is the soul's journey.

As a soul, we enter a body/mind and the body/mind has dominion as we are growing up in order to ensure its survival. The mind becomes programmed with many false and limiting beliefs. One of these false beliefs is that we ARE the body/mind. Yet the body/mind is just a temporary vehicle for the soul, a mortal vehicle that ages and dies.

When we identify ourselves as the body/mind, we will always feel core shame -- it is programmed into us. It is only when we open to REMEMBERING who we really are that we can move beyond identifying with the limitations of our body/mind and into knowing the beauty and perfection of our soul.

No matter how much healing we do on the level of the body/mind, we will never move beyond core shame until we identify ourselves with our essence rather than with our ego wounded selves. And we will never move beyond our need to protect ourselves from the rejection we fear in our wounded selves until we fully love and embrace who we really are.

Tamara and Douglas could not stop fighting as long as they both thought they were bad. As they each did their inner work, developing their spiritually-connected loving adult self who is capable is seeing beyond their wounded self into their essence, their fighting gradually diminished. As they learned to love and value their own true selves, they were also able to love and value the essence of each other.

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