Archives For shame

Even the best of us can be fooled sometimes, believing what we are told by someone who is being dishonest. We lean toward accepting what someone says as the truth until it strays outside of believable or we have an experience with them where we discover a lie and become skeptical.

As we cultivate our intuitive awareness, we start to notice when we receive indicators that a person isn’t being forthcoming, a gut feeling. Our belly (third chakra) tightens when we sense dishonesty. Deception is one way people use to maintain power in a situation. That may simply be due to the person’s need to feel in-control, invulnerable or to keep us seeing them in a certain light.

Recognizing dishonesty becomes trickier when the person truly believes what they are saying or feels justified in their actions. For example, a person believes that something should be theirs and steals it but then doesn’t admit it is stolen when confronted. It’s harder to “read” their dishonesty as they are sold on their own entitlement.

Or someone you go on a date with tells you they are a snowboarder and mountain biker but hasn’t actually done either for many years.  They don’t see this as a lie because they see themselves as who they were ten years ago and believe it to be their identity.  When it emerges that they aren’t actively doing these things, they may still adamantly define themselves as that person who they were in the past, rather than being honest with themselves about who they are in the present.

Being lied to and not realizing it until we’ve felt the impact of the betrayal brings up a full gamut of emotions, shame at not recognizing it sooner, feeling foolish, self-doubt, anger, a loss of our innocence in trust for others, disappointment, grief, heartbreak and confusion.

When our intuition signals to us that we aren’t getting a straight story or the person’s actions aren’t lining up with their words, it activates our analyzer. The part of our mind that tries to make sense of the difference between what we intuit and what we are being told.

Our brain wants alignment between what we perceive and what we hear. Incongruity keeps it activated, trying to make sense of the nonsense.  In this way, doubting our intuition when we perceive dishonesty, consumes a lot of our energy. Or as my spiritual mentor says, “Secrets, lies and withholds are toxic.”

To get clear on the truth, we start by noticing our body’s response. Where do we feel tense? If the belly is clenched it is telling us something’s awry. Then we take a few deep breaths to get centered and ask our higher Self some questions, listening deeply for the answers:

  • Has this person lied to me or are they acting without integrity?
  • Do they believe what they are telling me is true?
  • What does this person need me to believe about them and why?
  • Is my own unrelated fear triggering doubt for this situation or person?

Ultimately our peace comes from acknowledging the incongruence within analytical and intuitive aspects of our mind and directly addressing the person whose actions we sense are not following their words.  Encountering dishonesty can be disheartening, feel like betrayal and drain our energy. The more we listen to our intuitive indicators and trust our Self to see the situation clearly by using more than the physical senses, the less energy we will lose in the dance between analyzer and intuitive mind.

I was reminded of the power of vulnerability at my book group this month. One woman shared a perceived failure, a self-judged imperfection and we all relaxed more deeply into our Self. The energy of the room opened up and became more connected. We each saw ourselves reflected, in the quiet moments where we are alone with our inner voice. We reached out to comfort the Self we saw in her. We held her with more compassion than we might hold ourselves.

We spend an immense amount of unconscious energy holding up the identity that we feel safe letting others see. The curious thing is that when we share our challenges, the less than shiny aspects of ourselves in healthy relationships, instead of activating the judgment of others, it invites them to love us more. They receive a signal that their own rough edges will be loved too. Suddenly there is new found safety in being a full-spectrum human being.

We all have experiences we count as failures, imperfections, things that don’t turn out the way we’d hoped, relationships, situations that got messy and we mired around in the muck. We weren’t our best. We should have known better, is what we tell ourselves. And we have periods of crisis that feel like about as much as one soul can handle, whether it’s external circumstances or an internal battle that stresses our life to the max.

Yet we still have to show up in our life. We can’t permanently take a vacation from everything and everyone to avoid being seen in the midst of it. The rough spots in the road of life evoke a deep sense of vulnerability. How much do we have to prop-up the Self that is doing “just fine,” or “great,” to the world while struggling in private?

It’s in the poop, the dirty, imperfect parts of our life that we learn the most. It busts us open and helps us grow. The discomfort stretches us. But unless we are a chronic complainer that drains the energy of everyone around with our misery, we generally hide these challenges from most of the world or save them for our closest loved ones. There is a reason for this. Our closest loved ones have established a known level of safety. We can live a richer life by allowing deeper vulnerability with more people in our lives. It literally shifts the energy of every future moment.

Our intuition helps us tune-in to supportive places and relationships in our lives to reveal our challenge. Simply giving a short but honest answer to the stranger who asks, “How are you?” allows them to admit their own full spectrum of emotion to themselves and have a better day with the relief of it… “It’s been a rough day but I’m hanging in.” This isn’t about dumping your shit on others, rather allowing the truth of you to be seen by another in a way that allows you both to relax into the present moment rather than faking it. This is how the poop gets beautiful. It’s the real, the true and the authentic Self revealed. The most beautiful state of existence.


Natalie —  November 22, 2010 — Leave a comment

This video message on wholeheartedness, presented by Brené Brown, contains precious information regarding our human experience.  Proof that vulnerability or purposeful risk taking such as letting ourselves be “seen” authentically is the key to a peaceful existence from within!

Shame Detox

Natalie —  September 8, 2010 — 7 Comments

Shame is powerful and toxic.  It is a form of control through judgment, a way of dictating what makes us worthy of love.  Shame seeks to alter our behaviors through sending an energy current into our aura that invokes a sense of rejection, punishment, dirtiness, imperfection, being wrong, having shown an ugly face of humanity, crossed a taboo, revealed a secret, been inappropriate or weak to our animal instinct rather than shown civility.  It may even suggest that our physical attributes or character traits are flawed, too fully revealed for the comfort of another.  We can accept the shame into our sense of self, engage in a power struggle in order to defend ourselves or learn to be neutral to outside judgment. 

When we feel shame for our words, actions or physical body it is a form of poison.  The energy enters our aura with a signature of self-rejection, even self-hatred.  Our physical and spiritual bodies absorb the toxic message and move farther away from peace.  In balance, our inner guidance is meant to be finely tuned to the needs of our authentic self.  When we hide or suppress our authentic self we detach from our intuitive truth.  Then our physical body responds chemically to the sensations of stress, tension and fear that are created in response to the toxicity of shame.  On both the physical and mental level, barriers are built to hearing our spiritual guidance.

Shame is commonly used to rear children to fit into social structure and invoke a sense of morality.  This programs us to feel guilt for thoughts or activities we were taught are shameful, even when there is not another person present to judge us.  Abusers use shame to emotionally manipulate their victims.  They claim betrayal if the victim reveals the abuse; energetically turning it around to make the victim feel responsible for their abuse.  Use of shame and guilt to control human behavior wounds and suppresses the light aspects of our nature along with the shadow aspects.  A healthier way to establish a sense of moral guidance or socially appropriate boundaries is to acknowledge the behavior or words as valid while expressing that they make the witness or recipient feel uncomfortable.  In this scenario, the person responding takes responsibility for their own feelings and communicates their boundaries without punishing the other or trying to control the situation.

When presented with the energy of shame as a conscious adult, its impact depends on the person delivering it and whether it hits us where we have a prior wound from shame.  It may feel good to openly communicate that whatever is being judged in us is perfectly acceptable.  But we also have the option to go beyond sending a return-volley of energy in the power struggle.  When we heal wounds from past shame, we can become unscathed by other’s judgments and even find humor in their attempts to control. We heal these wounds through self-love and the help of others experienced in shifting outdated behaviors and belief systems.  Clairvoyant reading is one path to identify the wounds from shame and heal our energetic body from layers of shame based suppression.  Ultimately when we detoxify our lives we are healing future generations and stopping the cycle of abuse.