Quote of the day:
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to. Mark Twain
Thinking about shame. I am aware that my recent writer's block is connected to feeling shame. I realize that I use ancient pains to prevent myself from self-expression. And yet, self-expression has always been the one way I was able to crawl out from the abyss. My old wounded soul is infested with shame, shame, shame.
It is shameful to admit feeling shame. It is painful, therefore, to confront it head and heart on. It feels humiliating to myself to feel the nagging agony that I am worthless. I remember Bob-the-therapist telling me over and over again that these were family stories/myths that were invented about me. They were not true - not connected to reality. He gave me permission not to believe them. And when he would notice that I was wavering and starting to believe them again, he would repeat and repeat the same message to counteract them: "You are worthwhile. You are a good person. I will never leave you no matter what." An antidote. His antidote. As I slide into these feelings I claw my way out by remembering Bob's words. But by then the day has slipped by and not a word has been written.
There is no way out for me now. I just have to admit that shame is at the source, the very core of my childhood psyche. I will have to explore it, hold still with it, and come to know it intimately, the texture, smell, sound, sight of it, before I am able to walk away. There is no way around it and running away has brought me full circle, face-to-face with it once again. If I was an artist, I would paint shame in intense, vibrant, striking colors, and if I was a poet I would write words that penetrate deep into the reader's soul and take their breath away.
One of the ways that I have decided to embrace my shame is by reading about it. In one self-therapy page I found, I read that the childhood psychological message was: "I can and will treat you any way I want to ... you are a worthless weakling at my disposal." Although I have known about this (I have worked with young children for thirty years for goodness sake!), somehow these words had a positive effect on me. They made me rise up inside and want to defend that little girl ... the inner child. It gave me back my fight for me.
I am starting to make a list of ways I can fight for me:
- Stay close to and visit people who love and value me
- Take hot bubble baths and eat good foods
- Keep toxic, energy vampires at bay
- Hold still with the discomfort
- Tell myself the truth about me
- Learn to make shame into my friend and not an enemy
- Write down all the times I have survived the shame abyss
- Remember who my real friends are
I am sure that more will come to me. Right now I am wrapping my arms around my blog in gratitude for being here to accept my pain and confusion as I try to work some of this stuff out. I remember that last night I dreamed Ada was giving birth to darling, tiny kittens and I was helping her. Yeah! I remember that compassion has always been one of my strengths.
I think I will add that to my list:
- Write down all my strengths ...
- ... write it down ... write it down ...
- ... write it ...
- ... just ... WRITE
Love ... throw [me] a line ...
A year ago at Tamarika: Tagged