Vulnerability and Shame
So I’m sure I’ve said this in other blog posts…but it’s worth repeating:
shame is the substance that fuels addictions.
Or a C.S. Lewis quote I remember copying out back in my college notebooks:
“…to love at all is to be vulnerable…”
Last week one of my dear friends sent me a link to this Ted talk video—->
The power of vulnerability |
It seems I’m a little late to the Brené Brown party! The talk was fabulous and worth watching! I suppose I’ve been so busy reading books from the 600’s and the 1300’s that I wasn’t aware of what was going on in popular psychology culture right at this moment!
I’m glad people are still speaking about this and bringing awareness and healing to those of us who are asking ourselves:
“am I the only one feeling this way?”
I use this example with my clients:
Imagine if you were locked in a basement for 18 years and you finally got to come out and be free– you experience the feeling of sunlight on your skin– you see the world around you…you have the freedom, finally, to run around in the open air….
It’s absolutely amazing — but part of us feels like:
~ am I really allowed to experience this much sunlight?!
~ this feels indulgent
~ what do I do in this new place?
~ what if I make a mistake?
~ is someone going to lock me back in the darkness again?
~ this is so beautiful, it’s painful
~ why do I feel like crying?
~ I feel so alive here!
I remember my mentor and teacher in Montreal, Dr. Surkis, saying to us:
“When you get in touch with yourself, you get in touch with the touch you never had…”
It’s bittersweet at first…to finally feel belonging, tenderness, kindness…
Reminds me of the U2 lyrics:
I want to feel, sunlight on my face
I see the dust cloud disappear, without a trace
I want to take shelter,
from the poison rain,
where the streets have no name…
So it may be sad, or overwhelming, or new at first… but we simply must have courage to “go there!” …
To leave the familiar is to leave the
family we always knew, experienced, and internalized!
People can tell us: “you are worth loving, you were always worth loving…” but we internalized the experiential message from early childhood that communicated to us “you are not worth the love, the effort, the awareness, the kindness, the protection, the cherishing …”
If we experienced rejection, getting shut down and silenced– we, some of us, internalized the shame of that rejection.
All people are given free will, in hopes that they will freely choose the “good” and choose the most loving response— but they can misuse that freedom and choose to perpetuate their own unhealed shame, by rejecting us from their own inner rejection.
If we continue to believe their lie, however, how will this cycle ever end?!
Someone has to blaze a new trail!
Someone has to take the road less travelled– find the courage to seek out the truth and live in it!
–So what– if it may feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar at first…
Real Love is worth getting used to!
You once talked to me about love,
You painted pictures of
A never never land
And I could’ve gone to that place
But I didn’t understand
I didn’t understand.
~ Elliott Smith
There has to be a way to heal our old shame and not be bound by it, not be trapped in it, not return to it over and over each time someone pushes one of those old buttons…
Our life is all grounded and rooted in love, and without love we may not live. ~ Julian of Norwich
You are not alone on this path back to Love…
We are invited, in the Holy Scriptures, to love. We would not be invited if we didn’t have the capacity within us to choose it.
No matter how dark or difficult you may find this, persevere! Continue! Ask for courage — those who seek will find, to those who knock, the door will be opened unto them.
We are loyal to those old, internalized, experiential messages and we have no need to be loyal to them any longer. They are lies.
I hear Christ, in my deepest self saying:
“This is the way of love…follow me, I reveal this love, I lived this love, I am living this love now, calling you to it, I have always loved you…choose to follow this path of love…”
No matter how hard I try to listen to my doubts — and the people that say “that is all made up…”
I hear love.
When I enter into the stillness and just let whatever is, just be…
That gentle but persistent invitation to let go of the lies, die to them, and come take this higher path — stop internalizing the broken messages — come and follow me…
When you look at the Greek in that passage it is really more like:
Come here beside me, choose, if you wish, to walk this path with me.
I am with you always.
I will not leave you destitute…
Christ modeled to us the courage we ourselves need. We will not be left without this grace if we ask God to walk with us, help us heal this old wound.
I wish you love, always.