Shame is a very unique form of violence.
Why? Because other assaults and violences injure our body or psyche and allow us to see that we are suffering because we were violated.
Shame twists and perverts this fundamental understanding, leading us to believe that we are not suffering because we were hurt, but because there is something wrong with us and therefore deserve to suffer.
This fundamental belief system, when internalized, prevents all injuries and violations from actually being addressed. Instead, we spend our resources trying to "heal" what we believe is wrong with us, never working to lift the veil of shame which would allow us to see clearly and address the underlying wound.
Too much of what people call "healing" banks on people believing the voice of shame, robbing them not only of their money and time, but of their belief in themselves - their own authority. - DAVID BEDRICK
a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
It sits on us like a horrid, putrid muzzle.
It keeps us from connecting with ourselves, or with others.
It stifles our growth.
It fools us into believing we are not worthy of our visions.
AND WAIT A HOT SECOND.
That definition up there doesn’t really paint the whole picture. It leaves out SO MUCH of why we wear shame. Like, all the ways society, family, and cultures heap piles of shame. Not to mention the things that go on behind closed doors that so many of us know intimately: childhood, relationships, religions, etc … they are a contributing factor to the shame we wear.
Don’t you agree?
Let’s get clear on what kind of shame we carry, how it shows up, and where it came from.
Is it ours?
That’s a huge question.
What you can do
What are you ashamed of?
I know that question makes you want to run away.
But don’t you see that running away is letting the shame win?
When shame wins, life isn’t really lived. It’s just creaking by. And on your deathbed, you’ll just be ashamed that you let shame win.
It’s a never ending cycle, that darn shame. It just perpetuates itself until we say:
I choose LIFE.
Do you choose LIFE?
Let’s make a list of all the things we are ashamed of. Real or imagined, past or present tense, involving others or totally solo. Just write it down. As you are writing the list, you aren’t judging yourself. You are noticing the sensations in your body. You will learn this sensation so that whenever it arises and tries to hold you back, you are prepared to dilute it.
How do you dilute shame?
By acknowledging it, and choosing life instead.
It really is that simple.
It’s the holding on to shame, letting it rule you, letting it direct your every move that is the hard part.
What would your creative project(s) look like if you had no shame?
Now write about that. Art journal it. Photograph it. Doodle it. Give your shame-free visioning and life a little airtime.
What would it be like to give as much space to shame-free LIVING … as we instinctively do to shame-covered un-living?
I’m tapping myself consciously into deep, primal places of unflinching power. Returning to the womb, so to speak. Rebirthing.
It’s been a long cold look in the mirror.
I try to practice what I preach.
In fact, I think I am recognizing that what I teach is where I need to grow.
This last week I had an experience or two with shame. With my shame, with the shame of others. With big epic, colossal, shame.
Where I feel shame that is mine to feel, then move through, and reach for solution rather than wallow, hide, shrink, and add another dose of poison to my world.
Where I hold the keys to shaming another … or bypassing that massive collective urge to cast SHAME on a person.
And so in the midst of these ‘shame’ scenarios I wonder:
What would the world be like if, in the midst of difficulties. we tapped into our deep power, reached out to one another, held the hurting with gentle and appropriate boundaries, and offered them the opportunity to thrive?
What do you see when you look at this card?
What strikes your heart when you see the word ‘JUSTICE’.
Where can you intuit the need for JUSTICE in your world? Your own, private, quiet corner of the Universe?
I’m not asking you to contemplate where the world needs justice. I’m asking you to contemplate where you can be a vessel for justice, or where you can ask for a little justice to find it’s way into your world.
This card is from The Wild Unknown deck.