Category Archives: Shame
The Wiccan celebration and ritual for Imbolc is fast approaching February 2nd. Imbolc brings the end of winter and of course a time of great change toward spring. Spring, even here in the desert southwest means new, rebirth, regeneration. I find that I often feel uncomfortable with the new because it causes me to reach out and expand my vision. This may be painful and I don’t like the pain that comes with change.
My life at times is cozy and gives me a curious kind of comfort and reassurance. When lonely or anxious or hopeless, I have at times turned toward unhealthy behaviors. I am used to it and don’t need to do much to keep on going in the same old way.
Suddenly, I have seen the error of my ways. Discovery, disgrace, legal issues, isolation, despair, the loss of a partner, the contempt of friends – all possible consequences of that cozy, complacent turn to my old behavior. Yes, I may have awakened one day to find that my old behavior ruined my life! This awareness has caused me to begin reaching out for the hard process of change.
Making difficult change is painful, but that pain is preferable to the agony caused by the inevitable outcome of unhealthy behaviors.
- Change is Painful (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Embracing the Change (mike.kaply.com)
- Enabling And The One You Love (psychologytoday.com)
“Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. The other eight are unimportant.” — Henry Miller
Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 –– June 7, 1980) was an American novelist and painter. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms, developing a new sort of novel made up of autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association and mysticism, one that is distinct always about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller, and yet is also fictional. His works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn and Black Spring. Henry Miller also was known to write travel memoirs and essays of literary criticism and analysis.
It is good and healthy to laugh about sex – as long as the laughter is on the side of life. Sex, after all, is part of the life force, and if it is surrounded by caring and honesty, it leads to a joyous intensification of our relationship with others and with the world. Then sex, like laughter, integrates.
Too often, laughing about sex betrays uneasiness, shame, disgust, and the want to hurt. We talk about “dirty jokes” and consign sex to the bathroom. We split off sex from other feelings and surround it with taboos and rituals and mockery. Viewed in this way, sex isolates us.
We need to learn to talk about our sexuality in a proud and affirmative way. Talking and laughing in a group, or with a friend, or with a loved one, is one of the steps we take to bring sex into the open to take its place as part of the diversity of life. Own your sexuality. Talk about it without shame and claim it a vital part of life.
- Setting Healthy Boundaries (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Exploring Healthy Sexuality (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Let’s not talk about sex (guardian.co.uk)
“There is no humiliation for humility.” — Joseph Roux
When I was young I can remember going to someone for help, only to be met by coldness. This happened often as I recall. The adults that participated in this horrible form of neglect were my parents, grandparents and even aunts and uncles. Compound this generalized lack of concern with friends mocking me when I tried to open to them. As if I even need one more of these emotional whammies, I can’t leave this one out: I was taken advantage of because I was sensitive and vulnerable. In short, I felt humiliated when I wanted to open up. So, what did I do? Well I resolved not to let myself be open and dependent. I closed myself off from others and became grandiose in my belief that I could go it alone.
Now, at this point in my life and personal growth, I am slowly learning to be humble. I have come to realize that nobody is an island, cut off from the world. I don’t know all the answers. I need the help of those who really do want to reach out to me.
It’s hard to be humble when I was so often humiliated, but I have to risk again reaching out to others; the rewards I have come to find out, are amazing! And it is wonderful to not be alone. I know that as an adult, I don’t have to keep on feeling humiliated. Being humble is a sign of strength, not of weakness. Now, I experience new power in my relationships with others.
“I left because there was no room for me. But you could tell me not to go. Say it to me. Tell me not to go.” — Stephen Sondheim. Dot in Sunday in the Park with George.
To leave someone we love is to knowingly break a vital connection. Even if we chose to leave, we wonder why it often hurts so much. But the heart isn’t logical; it feels the trauma of the loss and the responsibility of being the one to say good-bye.
Love is a process; it doesn’t end because we say good-bye. No matter how painful or harmful a relationship was, there were good things about it, just as there were lovable things about the other person. The challenge is to accept with grace the choice we’ve made and to forgive whatever hurt we’ve received. We can refuse to indulge in self-righteousness or indignation. Those feelings are born out of illusion of power that comes with being the one who leaves. Most of all, we can grieve the loss and then let go of the person we loved so that we can heal.
“She looks for me. God. Let her look for me and tell me why she left me.” — Stephen Sondheim. George in Sunday in the Park with George.
To be left by someone we love is to experience a break in the heart’s flow. To be left is to endure unanswered questions, to feel fear, anger, rejection, grief. It is life in the passive tense: we did not leave – we were left. Spiritual separation, when the bond of two spirits has been severed by someone else’s choice, hurts badly. Where is the hope? How do we go on? At its most painful, being left even brings the question, “Do I want to go on?” Once we answer yes to this, we can start to heal.
We can choose to accept what is. We can find our way with the help of the Universe’s grace and the support of people who love us and want us in their lives. To yield to someone’s wish to end a relationship is an act of respect. To want the best for someone, even when it means enduring our own loss, is an act of love. Honestly grieving the loss of someone is a sign that healing is already beginning to take place.
“Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” — Marie Ebner von Eschenbach
One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is forgiveness. When we remember the past, we often find we were much harder on ourselves than we were on other people. We may no longer even remember some of our misdeeds, but it’s not so easy to erase the effects of self-punishment on our identity and self-esteem.
There is no need for us to punish ourselves. We can apologize to ourselves, just as we do to others. Then, we can forgive ourselves just as we do to others, and just as we are forgiven by them.
When we find it hard to forgive ourselves and let go, there are actions we can take: Reach out to someone, or try to find the real feelings beneath the urge to be so hard on ourselves. We can still be honest and choose gentleness. We can also keep our perspective, seeing things realistically and not creating a catastrophe where there is none. We can turn to the Universe, asking for a higher forgiveness and be assured of the Universe’s understanding and love.