What a dichotomy. I am perfectly human in all my imperfections and yet, I felt anything but human because I couldn’t accept I wasn’t perfect. Throughout the relationship with the sociopath I behaved in ways that hurt me and those I love. How could I have done that, I wondered? I love these people, yet I hurt them? How dare I?When I wrote, The Dandelion Spirit— a true life fairytale of love, lies and letting go, I struggled with revealing the depth to which I sank, because I carried my shame into each word.
I had to let it go.
Shame debilitates me. It keeps me stuck in unforgiveness. Its sticky, gooey yuckiness keeps my wings feebly struggling to rise above me. It weighs me down so that I cannot fly.
Shame hurts me
The definition of shame, according to Answers.com is:
Shame (shām) n.
- A painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace. Capacity for such a feeling: Have you no shame?
- One that brings dishonor, disgrace, or condemnation.
- A condition of disgrace or dishonor; ignominy.
- A great disappointment.
In everyday living, there is a healthy dose of shame required to help us move forward, to grow, to learn and to evolve. When any emotion becomes too intense, however, it unbalances us, disturbs our status quo and causes stress.
In living with my grief and sorrow about that relationship and my loss of self, my shame had mushroomed into a toxic cloud of demoralizing waste that kept me trapped in self-condemnation, blame and regret. To move beyond shame’s grip on my psyche, I had to face myself in the mirror and love myself, exactly where I was at — a broken, wounded, frightened and sorrow-filled woman. A victim of her own life.
Letting go of my feelings of shame was instrumental to my claiming my place on my healing path. Letting go of shame let me lovingly face myself in the mirror and speak honestly, truthly, and knowingly about what I had done, who I had become — without giving the tirades voice within me the opportunity to drown me out. What a shame that would have been! To let self-deinigration, condemnation, denial, blame and regret hold me back from claiming my right to be accountable and responsible for what I had done so that I could claim my right to do and be all that I am meant to be.
Travelling into the past without a flashlight is dangerous
Yesterday a friend told me about some things another woman has said about me regarding that journey into hell with the sociopath. I know that her truth is not my truth. But in the darkness of wanting to stand up and shout, “Listen you b…., you don’t have the right to talk about me like that. You don’t know me.” I wandered into the zone of past regrets without taking my flashlight with me.
Not a good idea.
My self-defeating characters stand watch waiting for any moment to jump out of the bushes and claim my light.
It is my responsibility to walk in my truth. My responsibility to stand free of the darkness so that I can live freely in this moment without the past shadowing my every move and casting a pall on my tomorrows.
Can’t change the past. Can’t see into tomorrow.
I can choose to live freely in today. To keep my mind and heart open to the wonders, joys, and opportunities today brings and to hold my hands up and out so that I can fly.
Sure, there might be moments of frustration — who knows? The day has not yet unfolded. As long as I stand in my light, I will deal with those moments when they arise and step freely of their shadow without regret.
In this moment, right now, where I sit typing, I am completely present to this moment, letting the cloying tendrils of regret, sorrow and shame drift back into the shadows so that I can walk freely in the light of knowing I am perfectly me, beauty and the beast, a wondrous woman, walking my path with truth, dignity and grace.
This is my journey. My one and only life. Let me be me.