Excavating Shame

January 29, 2012

You know all of those things that you’ve been holding onto for as long as you can remember, because you kind of sort of think maybe you were to blame for them or they reaffirmed what you’ve always suspected has been true about you or you just can’t really seem to let them go? Today we are going to talk about those memories, and the shame is tied up with them.

The memories that are dragging you down.

The memories that keep you chained up in a life that you don’t love.

The memories that make you think you love someone who is mean to you.

The memories that the darkest part of your brain plays on repeat during late at night, when everyone else is sleeping.

terminal91 - the color of shame

I’m going to ask you to shine a light deep into your subconscious and check out what is lurking deep in your body – the skeletons in your closet, the spiders in your brain, the sludge around your heart. And, ultimately, I’m going to ask you what it would be like to let a little of that go.

I’m going to ask you what purpose your shame serves in your life. How does it protect you? Why is it that you’ve carried it around with you for so long?

Today we’re going there – but I promise you are going to be OK. We’re going to do it together, because this is one that applies to all of us.

I am also going to ask you to suspend your disbelief for a moment and take this in:

You are worth so much more than you are giving yourself credit for.

We cannot change the things that have happened to us. We cannot change the events that we’ve been responsible for, either truthfully responsible or simply present. We cannot change the things that we regret.

The fact of the matter is: no amount of repenting or pretending or making-up-for is going to change those things we’d rather forget. They are ours for life, but that does not mean that they have to control us. It does not mean that we are not worth dreaming up some more ideal circumstances, just because we have some things in our personal histories that we aren’t proud of.

You can choose, today if you’re ready, to expend your energy in ways that make you feel good.

You can decide that you’re going to excavate some of the shame from your body by forgiving yourself for your past. You can decide to believe, like in your gut believe, that as a product of your lived experiences, each and every one of those experiences has served a purpose.

Now, I know that can be a tough pill to swallow. What about the time that I was sexually-assaulted? Yes, that time too. What about the time I was chased out of the fraternity by four boys screaming about what a fat whale I was? Yes, especially that time. What about every single moment that I was made to believe that I was _____ by the people who were the closest to me, when I was so young and vulnerable? That bit is crucial.

All of those horrendous moments – are fair game for examination and letting go.

If you are the sum of all of your parts, it would stand to reason that in the journey of learning to love yourself, learning to love the parts of yourself you would never tell a single other person if you could help it – is crucial.

Forgiving yourself for those things that are in the past, is crucial.

I know it’s ugly. I know it’s scary. I know that we keep those moments tucked away for a good reason.  I know why you might rather tell me to fuck off and stop prying. I am filled with nothing but limitless compassion for your profanity, because believe me examining those aspects of my life makes me really fucking mad and more than a little crazy too.

If it didn’t feel so fucking good to let go – I wouldn’t ask it of you.

And it does. Trust me.

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