“Those of us who get bogged down by fear before action are usually being sabotaged by an older enemy, shame. Shame is a controlling device. Shaming someone is an attempt to prevent the person from behaving in a way that embarrasses us.” Julia Cameron, The Artists Way.
I love this quote. As a trauma-informed emotional healer, coach and student and teacher of shame, this is a tender topic and so worth diving into!
To add to the above definition, as I understand it, shame is ultimately fear of rejection by the tribe.
Last week prior to this full moon, I was feeling my clients’ deeply moving through shame energy as they were processing lineage core wounding narratives in their first two chakras. Being so empathic I often feel what my clients are going through and subsequently, I use this as an opportunity to take action and do a deeper medicine dive into my own body-mind system.
I realized I was feeling blocked creatively and could do more inner work around using my own shame story as fuel to expose myself, my story and be more vulnerable as inspiration for healing others. To me this ends up amplifying my own courage, power and grace.
The more we expose the icky feelings beneath the surface the more healing occurs. The more we release shame in our sacral chakra, the more in touch we are with our Divine Feminine essence, intuition and creative life force energy. In turn, this translates to opening all the chakras and particularly the throat chakra so we can speak our authentic truth.
How does shame show up?
Shame can show up in a variety of ways as I have seen it with my clients – body image, sexual abuse or misdirected energy, and societal controls as Julia mentions above.
Brene Brown tells us that body image is the biggest shame that women feel. As you know, you have been conditioned to believe that everyone woman needs to be the perfect 10. Add, the filters, Photoshop, enhancements, etc and you’ve got a standard that makes you feel imperfect and embarrassed for being different and creates the ‘less-than’ or lack mentality. This feeds your core wound story around not feeling heard, loved, or seen.
This comes in all forms. Any time you feel you are in the minority – lesbian, transgender, bi, poly, etc. there is probably a narrative underneath that needs healing so you can come into full power in whatever form you wish to be. Also, there is sexual abuse – any time you gave up your power, or your power was taken away you carry shame. On top of this, there are distortions like when you were disrespected, taunted or teased regarding your gender.
Julia reminds us in her book the familiar stories we heard. I know I did. The “how dare you?” angry adult response to things that my innocent child did. I have caught myself blurting this out loud to my own child unconsciously, thankfully only once when I was tired, impatient and frustrated. Oh that tricky unconscious (Shame on you, lol!).
The thing is – we are at fault, wronged and shamed all the time.
As Julia says above, ‘shaming someone is an attempt to prevent the person from behaving in a way that embarrasses us.”
I remember feeling this shame energy coming from peers and from myself when my son started biting as a means of communicating his big feelings when he turned 1.5/2 years old. I was told over and over again that it was OK that it would pass, but soon became isolated as people did not understand, and I was not included in group activities.
I also felt shame around my failed relationship. That shame was my own version of sabotage and victim fed by my core wounding story of abandonment. I then had a fear of rejection come up around the ‘normal ways’ of parenting, or the ways that many of my peers were seemingly doing it the ‘right’ way.
I additionally felt shame around my new body, which didn’t look like my ‘pre-birth’ body. My yoni felt disfigured and my extra stomach skin and pooch made me feel embarrassed.
There was a lot to process the last few years.
The fact is, none of us want to feel rejection.
The fear of rejection is one of the biggest fears that is tribally wired in your brain. If you were rejected from the tribe as hunter-gather then the odds were this was your death sentence. So you learned to co-habitat and create rules that fit what was best for the majority, whether or not that was good for you as an individual or not.
Within this structure you shut down the bright creative energy that resides within you.
If you were ever made to feel ashamed for being curious and out-of-bounds, then chances are you are afraid to step out of the box.
The problem is: YOUR CREATIVE ENERGY IS WHO YOU ARE. IT’S YOUR BRILLIANCE. YOUR LIGHT TO SHINE!
Remember the quote from Marianne Williamson,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I love this quote because it reminds us that its the power within us that is what frightens us because we have been controlled through fear and shame for so long.
In our current paradigm, the light is different. The light is out of the “norm”. We need to re-structure ourselves and society.
This also reminds me of my favorite acronym for FEAR – False Ego Appearing Real.
Our Ego is our wounded child’s creation, our illusion of separation. It’s what creates this very real experience that we are having which shouts, “I am different, alone, disconnected and rejected.” As I write and speak all this forward, it feels so good to connect and expose it.
I offer all our human moments to the fire.
You are human and learning how to make your way back home. You are rising from the lower chakras of fear, separation, disrespect, shame, and guilt and finding your way into your power and your heart through exposing yourself. You are calling in vulnerability.
I offer the judger, inner critic, shamer and wounded child in you a deep embrace.
Instead of pushing her aside bring your little girl toward you. When your little child is feeling emotionally out of control help her to feel safe and secure so she can process her big emotions and feel healing.
Forgive. Surrender. Let go.
When you release your shame you walk into freedom to be who you are meant to be. You are here to live in your power and purpose without fear. When you are free you can take creative action as it moves through you.
I have loads of tools that I’ve gathered through experience working with thousands of people in deep medicinal healing environments for well over 10 years. If its time for you to take this deep dive into shame and creative blocks, reach out. I’m happy to help navigate these tricky waters to freedom.