The Relationship Hell to Heaven telegroup all joined our session last night, ready for once to do The Work on thoughts about shame and guilt….
It’s one of the only times I ever prompt people to consider what they feel most ashamed of in a relationship they’re working on, so we can investigate.
I notice I have thoughts about myself, every time, in every relationship I’ve ever experienced that holds some kind of conflict or disturbance.
A co-worker from many years ago who I was so upset about because she criticized me and reported me to a supervisor.
I was ashamed of being ratted on, even though it didn’t wind up meaning anything terrible and everything was cleared up pretty quickly.
She doesn’t like me. I’m a loser. I did something wrong.
What about that time when I dated two men at once? One of them cared.
I was ashamed I was being sneaky, I was unclear about all my feelings, too scattered, disloyal.
Or how about my conflict with a very dear friend, and really surprising betrayal?
I was ashamed of her seeing me as unprofessional, even crazy, someone without integrity.
I’ve shared before that my worst, most horrible shame was having an abortion, and before that, having an eating disorder.
I thought of myself as a violent, selfish, completely screwed up human being.
The thing is….shame about oneself is a strange and tricky trap.
You get stuck in the mental story that you’ve done something terribly wrong and embarrassing, and this sick feeling in your stomach pushes that shame deep down like a thorn stuck inside, and you have to keep it from ever coming out, lest people discover the true and horrible you.
But who would you be without the story that there’s something wrong with you, or you did something unforgivable, or something’s missing, or you aren’t worthy, or desirable, or you’re a cheater, or a loser, or too “x” or not enough “y”?
It’s a lot to unravel at once, in these words…..maybe too much.
But just imagine who you would be without stories of YOU being OFF?
What if there was simply nothing to do, nothing to learn, nothing to forgive, nothing to fix, nothing to find, nothing to add, nothing to change, nothing to clarify, nothing to make sense of….
Ha ha ha ha!
Can you feel the burden of shame get set down, with this idea?
Can you feel the connection to self-love and compassion, no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done?
What if you’ve always been doing the best you can?
“There is no greater illusion than fear, no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself, no greater misfortune than having an enemy.” ~ Tao Te Ching #46
This enemy includes you.
Much love, Grace