Shame is a damning thing. The purpose is to make you small. In hindsight it can open your eyes to moments of truth and healing. Abandonment, abuse, mental illness-generally human emotions that do not fit societies definition of normal are met with shame.No one is free from it. Our society needs it to control itself. Judgement, resentment, righteousness are the tools used to invoke shame. WE all carry it, but let’s be honest about it, we want out.
My story is full of shame, even shame from previous lives. I’ve written about my shame in many other blogs. Shame is a lonely journey. It’s meant to isolate you and to scare you into compliance. What shame doesn’t want is for you to discuss it with others. One person’s shame might just heal another person’s shame. The first step would be healed, no loneliness.
Most recently, I have been at grips with my kundalini awakening and mental health issues. My shame moment-I am now diagnosed as bipolar, bleh! I will discuss later. I have struggled now for almost 4 years to get back to a functioning life of 30-40 hour work weeks, social life and general happiness. Well this roller coaster ride has not ended. Sometimes I feel ashamed, but then I know I have done everything in my power to get out, with and without medication. Admitting my ‘diagnosis’ has freed me to accept help. Bipolar is not a one size fits all disease, but it needs acceptance and love.
I have stopped feeling bullied and victimized by this shame of my situation. That’s the crucial first step in overcoming shame. It’s allowed me to share my story with others. I actually HEAR them wanting me to succeed. Then, they share their own personal Chicken Soup for the Soul. I have heard stories about people’s secret bouts with medication. I have heard stories about executives who hate their jobs and can’t wake up on time. I have heard stories about people wanting to hurt themselves. I have heard stories of addiction. And it’s healing. It’s healing even if you aren’t in a dark space. It might even heal something you weren’t aware of.
Why is it that we are so afraid to wear our difficult times like badges of honor? We do so with our physical scars, through climbing accidents, or the time we fell off our bikes as kids, but not with our emotions. They taught us something that made us stronger. Why can’t we just come clean about what we need and don’t need? What hurt us and what doesn’t. Shame. We were taught to be calm, quiet, and compliant. We are taught to tolerate each other because we have to get along. What if tolerating only creates more shame? Haven’t we seen that this year? All the shame of being politically correct has actually created more death, hatred and destruction because we couldn’t be honest about how we feel. We are all each of us in the dark.
The best part of shame is that once we see it for the false boogie man that it is, we can accept ourselves. We actually begin to learn who we are and what we like. I’ve learned for instance, that I don’t like people who are opinionated and judgmental. I grew up with a family full of this. I had to belong to their clan if I didn’t subscribe to the belief systems. BAM! Shame enters asking me to comply and forget who I am. Without shame, I am not sure I would have been able to really know me. Sure, some people had understanding parents who helped them know themselves, but most of us didn’t.
Having a mental illness is also difficult enough without the shame. Just the basic label like bipolar, ADHD, Aspergers, Austism, etc is shaming enough. It says, “I’m different.” But we really aren’t. We just need glasses and understanding from others. Plus we have special skills that destroy shame’s effect. Releasing the shame of this label has also taught me about who I am, how I handle life and how I can heal.
The cure for shame is to love it. More than any other emotion, it lacks and craves love. Then you can really love yourself. It erases all the anger, pain, and resentment. I’m doing it and so can you.
Love to you all!
P.S. If you liked this blog, please share and like! The more we discuss and share our shame, the more we heal. That’s the point right 😉