By heatherferreiracole, May 17 2014 09:07AM
When I do a Soul Healing I always see shame as thick black sticky gloop. It can hold onto someone like in the scene of Spiderman 3, when the black substance climbs into Peter Parker and takes him over from the inside out.
When I am able to see my shame, it is the part of me that wants to hide, the part of me that wants to be invisible. The part of me that chooses to shrink rather than expand, to stay safe in my box rather than to explore, the part of me that tells myself I don’t need to get out there today, I’ll do it another day. It's the part of me that creates the discord, where one part has to compensate by dreaming big in order to try and keep the balance between the one who doesn’t act and the one who so wants to get out there in the world but freezes every time the box lid flickers in the wind.
From an outsiders point of view, shame is one of the most ruinous things a person can develop within themselves, as it turns the beauty of a person and their obvious potential into doubt, fear, into I’m not worthy. You may find yourself wanting to shake them saying, “why can’t you see just how amazing you are!”.
But so often low self-esteem couples with shame and they sit together in the box keeping themselves company. And perhaps then before too long, if we allow it, depression starts knocking and asks if it can join in because it is seems to be the perfect environment.
The one thing that shame can’t handle is being openly talked about. Shame thrives on secrets, on darkness, on creating the misunderstood, and the one holding the box lid firmly closed is low self-esteem who says, “you can’t tell people that, you can’t be yourself, you can’t be an open person and say who you truly are and what you think because people will hate you and they’ll laugh at you and then you’ll really be miserable because then you definitely will know for sure that you really don’t count, that you really are the odd one out, that you don’t belong”.
So as a coping mechanism for shame we create personas. These are not who we authentically are, although they may have been built on some of our natural traits to make it an easier transition. It may even be possible that we build the persona out of parts of ourselves to trick us into thinking that yes, that is who we really are - after all some of the best lies are based around the truth.
But we do know, we definitely know, at some level, that something isn’t hitting home because something feels like it is missing. Something niggles and tells us that although we try so desperately to ignore it, that something is preventing us from feeling really seen. We feel somehow disconnected because we are, in fact, disconnecting from ourselves through our self-made personas.
Children have the miraculous ability to cut through the personas and see the real person and that is why a child slipping their hand into yours, or telling you they love you can fill you up from the inside with such joy, such love that it can bring tears to your eyes. A child sees through the personas to the authentic you and in that moment they love you so completely for who you are that it hits home. It hits a place of such longing, of such need, a place that yearns to be seen and loved in our absolute psychological and societal nakedness. A child doesn’t ask how much money you have, the title on your business card, how tidy you keep your house. A child looks at you and loves you for exactly who you are. It’s exquisitely simple.
But I wonder sometimes how shame got this amount of control over us because which would be better? Everyone loving an inauthentic version of ourselves and yet self-hatred reigning, or that we love ourselves and everybody else hates us. It’s a redundant question really because there is nothing more fascinating and appealing than meeting and being in the presence of someone who truly loves and accepts themselves - I mean truly. A person who has nothing to prove, no competitions to win, no agendas to fulfill, no advice to impart.
As within, so without.
When you love yourself, it is impossible for the Universe not to reflect that love back at you. So the next time you feel yourself shrinking, think again. It is only shame, so phone a friend and talk about those deepest, darkest fears, laugh about them and then get on with living your life the way you’ve always wanted to.