Return to Innocence

There was something inside that I wanted to hide. The true name of what it was that caused my shame was unknown to me. I could see some of the situations from my childhood in which it seemed to be rooted. And I had spent nearly a decade tugging up various “weeds” to get to the root of my shame problem. Yet, the deep rooted shame was still there.

Last week, I started the process of using EFT or emotional freedom technique to systematically begin to return to innocence through the process of forgiveness. Within just a day, I began to feel my shame load lighten. It was even more amazing after five! (The book is Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything by Iyanla Vanzant.)

Then, while at a party to celebrate my birthday something happened. Well after dark, while surrounded by friends on an outdoor patio of a local bar, a young boy about 7 years old walked up to me and was trying to solicit something. He spoke so softly and the crowd was so loud that I could not here him. My mind, intoxicated by the celebration – not bourbon – was unable to fully process what was happening! He held up a piece of paper in front of his chest with printed lettering, something apparently given to him by an adult to legitimize his solicitation. In my confusion over the juxtaposition, I gently yet firmly said to him, “No thank you.” I turned to my friends and commented how surreal that was for me. Then I quickly moved on. I didn’t even turn around to see if he had left.

Later that night the memory flooded back in. The next morning, the heaviness of guilt-ridden emotions followed. Why had I not done something more? How could I dismiss this child instead of protecting him and asking questions such as where was his parent/guardian? I was absolutely disgusted with myself!

I meditated, breathed into the physical and emotional pains and also used EFT that day on several elements: anger, sadness, and guilt. I sat through the emotional storms and rode some mighty waves. I even did a constellation on the incident (I’ll need another post to explain what this meant!) and sent a prayer request to a friend for myself and the boy. I also sent prayers to his “guardians.” I even tried to talk it out to get it off my chest and also asked a trusted friend who was at the party about the incident.

While each use of a modality helped to move me through something more, there were still some lingering pangs of guilt. The next day, I told a retired social worker about the incident; as if she could grant me absolution. Tears came to my eyes and I still got choked up. It was apparent that I still felt guilty for not doing more. It was also apparent to me at some point that the boy, due to his estimated age, also reminded me of my own son. In some way, I had “taken” responsibility for this boy as if I were his parent!

Through continued mindfulness while allowing the upwelling of all of the emotions, I finally saw the keys to unlock my cage of guilt. One key was that I recognized I was angry with myself for not protecting and honoring his innocence, as I would for my own son. And the skeleton key was seeing how my own childhood innocence had not been protected nor honored by adults who “should have” done so. After this recognition, the tears no longer flowed. The light bulb was now lit: I needed to see, honor and protect my own innocence.

That evening I attended a mini constellation therapy session in which my intention was to replace shame with innocence. Through my ancestors, I was able to receive further support in transmuting the lifelong shame I had felt back into innocence.

While there are still some areas to work through, I feel that a significant amount of shame and its emotional burden has been relieved. I share this story to illustrate that emotional freedom can seem elusive when we are moving through any upwellings. It is unlocked through persisting at allowing the emotions to become our teachers, in spite of what we may be feeling. Had I dismissed my feelings about this incident, as I had the boy in the bar, I would have missed an opportunity to reclaim my own innocence; my own freedom from shame.

Letting go now has a new meaning for me. It wasn’t about letting go of the story, my feelings nor the boy, it was letting go of control of it all to rediscover the innocence I had been missing.

May we each find the roots behind the story, so that we may each be free of our suffering in new ways. We all become more free, even if just by degrees, by each root that is disentangled. This is not just about individual suffering as we each suffer with one another, at least on some level, both directly and indirectly.

Namaste

Insomnia: The Pot of Guilt at The End of My Sleepless Rainbow

For the past few weeks my ability to stay asleep at night has been very much hit-or-miss. I have played with varying bedtimes, reducing my overall caffeine intake and screen/TV times at night, while increasing my night time meditation. I’ve also tried dietary changes including increased magnesium intake (through oil and citrate), and even taking Valerian some nights. All with varying effects that were inconsistent, at best as I was still awake most nights at 0300 and unable to shut off my mind even with use of guided meditations. Well, I discovered a connection that has helped to completely change my nighttime waking.

For just over a month, I have been using The Insight Timer App for timed and guided meditations. This week, I stumbled upon a meditation theme of healing guilt & shame that really resonated with me. It was a long meditation, and I identified with many things discussed during it. Afterwards, I felt refreshed and as if a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

Feeling this relief, I began to notice more feelings of guilt bubbling up. Wanting a shorter meditation, I did a search for “guilt” and about 4 out of 10-12 search results referred to insomnia or sleeplessness in the title, but not guilt. Curious, I listened to several and found that guilt has been the thief in the night, stealing my restful sleep. Honestly, I am still a little surprised by this and yet so grateful to now have this piece of the sleeplessness puzzle solved or at least knowing where to focus my efforts!

Following several meditations, I have been having some of the best sleep I’ve had in several months. If I wake up at 0300-something, I have been playing one of the (many) guided meditations on guilt (sleep specific or not) and find I fall back to sleep before the meditation ends and I stay there until my alarm sounds off in the morning. This is an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G improvement for me!

Over this week, I worked through guilt that I’ve been carrying about my divorce, children, work, finances, relationships, personal needs and life in general. This has also had physical benefits, as I am able to more freely move my head and neck, probably from having many emotional burdens lifted from my shoulders.

I am absolutely astounded as to how much guilt there was and still is. In another meditation about guilt, the speaker talked to how feeling bad (aka guilt) is an expectation. WOW! So guilt is so ingrained that we do not seem to know what it even looks like?! She also spoke to letting go of statements such as “I could have done better at ….” While this statement CAN help us to improve ourselves and our condition, if we perseverate on it (which I find I do, a LOT), it can lead us straight down the halls of guilt.

These meditations have been life changing for me. I feel as if I have unlocked more rooms in my secret vaults; able to see the unconscious drive. For instance, I have noticed how many of my decisions I make based on guilt avoidance instead of doing something because it is the right thing to do in my heart.

Intention sets the tone for our outcomes, with intentions based on fear instead of love, we are setting the stage for more problems than solutions. I’m changing that. This includes feeling bad for how I’m feeling; this just compounds the guilt!

I highly encourage you to take a peek inside at the guilt you may be carrying. If you’ve had a strong emotional response, including resistance, this may be a sign that you need this more than you think.

Namaste & May you Return to a Greater Sense of Peace and Restful Sleep

Handling Regret Using Empathy (Guided meditation)

P.S. The Insight Timer app is free and filled with many amazing meditations to suit your time, and your goals. There are zero agreements between myself and the developers to say these things. Happy Growing!

Culture of Punishment: It’s a Shame

Motivation through punishment makes things harder if our goal is to become our greatness. Self-flagellation tears at our flesh. Wounds then need tending and time to heal. Furthermore, how can we climb the peaks of our greatest potentials when we have a backpack filled with shame, guilt and other “unpacked” emotions? Leave the kitchen sink (and everything else) in the kitchen!

When I started graduate school I told myself that “good grad students” don’t study with the TV or radio on. Even though I learned in High School that I needed to occupy part of my (monkey) mind by having music or TV on, suddenly in graduate school I was to be “cured of this.” I almost failed out in my first class! So I quickly learned to change my strategy. Soon enough, I was pulling up my grade by studying again with the TV or radio on. I shamed myself into believing that to be better, I needed to “work harder.”

In essence, I was fighting myself. I was blocking my own nature with the “idea” of what a “good graduate student looked like.” In taking away the radio, I was setting myself up for failure by trying to make myself conform to some crazy notion of what “I should be.” This is shame folks. It’s hidden shame that makes us sound like we’re doing the right thing. It’s shame that is showing us that what we are “is not right.” 

It was as if I feared success. For if I truly wanted to do well, then why was I making things harder? I have feared doing well. So often successful people are torn down by others. Shame folks. This is shame at its finest! Being a trailblazer is a lonely life. So why would I want to get ahead?

Another example is where I get frustrated with the gap between how I want to be an excellent mom and where reality often falls. Role models like “Mrs. Brady” or “Mrs. Clever” who were the perfect moms with all the right answers “in every single moment.” Ignoring that they had a team of writers to think for them and how many takes and edits did they get for each episode?! 

So I punish myself for being “less than.” I tell myself I’m a bad mother for being human and getting impatient. I’m a bad mother for not loving my children enough to know how to handle each and every situation perfectly the very first time. By shaming myself, I keep myself blind to different options. I also block my own compassion towards my children…no winners here.

So by setting the bar higher when I’m already feeling down, how am I helping myself to climb out of this pit and see how I can do things differently? Add to this the mental self-flagellation. Beating myself down only keeps me from being able to climb out of this hell!

Now I ask you, where are you punishing yourself? Where do you desire to be a better person, yet beat yourself down? How can you stop pushing your own face in the mud? Eagles don’t soar my sticking their faces in the dirt. Eagles soar by allowing themselves to rise up, not by weighing themselves down with guilt and shame.

Today, how can we begin to love and nurture our strengths without making our weaknesses weaker?

Let’s find a new way to motivate ourselves. Let’s be our own greatest cheerleaders. After all, what effective team (anywhere) has cheerleaders telling players they are terrible? The best way to get ahead is to set our sight on our goals and to stop beating ourselves the eff down. Focus on your greatness! 


Image: Google

Shame to Blame

Oh wow! Amazing realization 

Came to fruition

A shame to blame myself

For the actions of others

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? 

Really, WTF?! GTFO! 

Yet, guilty, all my life

It was my fault if YOU did

Something bad to me!

Walking the thin red line 

Of being good, of being chaste-like

Of being fat and dressing down to hide 

My assets. Mental burqas?

Being quiet, being invisible

To avoid your attention

To avoid your lashing out at me

Or mistreating me sexually

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning

To keep you happy

Fuck!

Now to see so clearly 

The many ways I took

What was yours all along

A thief in the night, I was!

Responsibility for actions 

That are mine is mine

That are your are yours.

Not mine if it’s yours 

Giving back what’s yours

Responsibility, Accountability 

Taking back what’s mine 

My Power and freedom to be me!

Another degree of freedom

On another way

In Another day

Yes to me today

No more shame to blame 

~~~

Namaste

__/|\__ Ananda & Metta

2016.03.02

Image: wiki

Blame

A head game

One misstep 

Begins head trip

Where

No one wins

Beast awakens

Blood-thirsty

Eyes set on me

Whips

Chains

Self-flagellation

Castigation

Pronation

Loss of vision

Flesh ripping 

Burning 

Bleeding

Conceding 

Little girl

Blamed

For sins 

Upon own flesh

By grown men

No one wins

Where 

Head trip begins 

One misstep

A head game

Blame

~~~

2016.03.01

Image Google

Value Unknown x Four


Putting the Damage On
2014.02.13

I told him I didn’t like cut flowers
for the pain they must have felt.

No, don’t buy me a diamond ring.
No, I won’t wear white at our wedding.

My worth the inverse of repleted;
something he further depleted.

At some point I died,
no longer being seen.

Related poem:
Mama, a woman died in this house

~~~

Kisses in the Rain
2016.02.14

He held my face,
He told me all the things I wanted to hear,
Whispered, he did, in my ear.
It was such a disgrace,
to allow his words to fall away like tears
just as my coat repelled the drops
of rain as they fell from the sky.
Sliding down, forming puddles of
mud at my feet.

Drunk, he still looked into my eyes
as he told me, what I thought were only lies:
I can see you.
You are beautiful.
And a truth I didn’t want to hear:
Even with your Jeep,
vulnerability you keep.

Then he had another beer,
from my mind,
I wiped all of his words clear.
The hickeys I found, later.

~~~

I hurt you
2016.02.12

I saw the flash in your eyes
when I confessed that I couldn’t believe you
when you called me beautiful.

Know my Love,
it was me
I could
not
believe.

Thank you for being you, Eddie!
Maybe one day I can see what you see.
Maybe one day, I too, will be able to believe in me.

 

~~~

He Loved Her & Named Her “Elizabeth”
2014.02.14

Her birth name not regal enough,
Once wed, He named her “Elizabeth.”

He gave her the name of the Queen,
for in His eyes, she was as royalty.

While not my story,
I can relate having been myself disconnected
all my life from being named Tiffany

though I do love how it so rhymes;
from its derivative: Epiphany

Namaste.
__/|\__ Metta

Image: Google

Shame: The Thief in the Night

If Wheaties is the breakfast of Champions,
Shame then is the breakfast of the opposition.

Shame robs us, blinds us, confines us.
Whether we are aware of it or not;
it takes from us our vitality, as if a vampire.
yet it is us sucking our own selves dry.

Shame about our bodies inhibits their peak performance;
blocks us from seeing the magic of our creation,
prevents us from our fullest sexual expression.
keeps us from singing our truths and moving forward in it; unfettered; uninhibited.
shame makes us feel bad when we accomplish or have things others wish they had;
blocking our appreciation and our prosperity all at once.

Shame! It is blame turned inwards.
The words of our caretakers haunt our daily actions.
For so long we have just accepted it,
Carried it forward, having inherited it.
Now is the time to shed this shame,
really, truly, finding no one else to blame.

It takes digging, it takes prying,
not just cutting down the weed,
instead going to the very roots
pulling each one firmly yet delicately,
to unearth it. Destroy it. Prevent it from
causing our further decay.
Living in shame is a living death.
Let’s free ourselves from it!

By so doing, we reclaim our truths.
We reclaim the things once taken from out our
innocent hands.
Perhaps things we didn’t even understand
were lost to us.
Continuing this pattern of shame,
comes at a great cost to each of us.

Let’s now reclaim from shame the things once stolen,
Let’s now take back our things once taken.
Let’s reclaim from shame our truest expressions found in:
the beauty of our songs, whether written, sung or imaged
the beauty of movement in life, in our bodies, in sexual connection
the beauty of our bodies; each unique and magical
the beauty of our sexual expressions; no need for blocking our truest desires*
the beauty of lives, of our abundance that we overlook or do not fully receive
the beauty of our connectedness; even with unique expressions we are One.

Shame for too long has ruled my life.
Each day, I take something back.
Each day, I choose differently than to feel bad for being me; for having needs.
I use to say “I’m sorry” about everything;
underlying this was an apology for my own existence,
my own needs; my own desires!
Yes, I do still apologize and empathize, but no more for being me; no longer for existing.

Now I say “Thank you” more and more.
Grateful for seeing my own beauty, for the loosening of the things that have bound me to a lesser experience, no longer fearing the creativity with which I express myself.
Grateful for the connections with others, finding beauty in each of you,
the more beauty I see in you, the more I see it in me. And vice versa!

With each knot that we loosen,
with each root that we pull,
we take back our own oxygen, our own vitality.
no longer choosing to be obscured by walls built falsely.
Releasing the bindings, we each move more freely.
Free to be the we that we are here to be.
The I am that I am.
The We are that We are.

Dive deeply into your heart,
Please, for each one of us who does our part
makes this life less restrictive,
less inhibited for the others.
After all, we are all connected!

*have you seen the movie “Summer of Sam?” The most memorable story line for me was the one of the married couple. He felt that the only way to have sex with his wife was missionary style, I believe she was even in a nightgown. Their sex life was very utilitarian: “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am.” She wanted more variety, more intimacy. He would not hear of it. Instead, he fucked whores in his car to meet his sexual desires. This was such a sad thing for me to see. And at the time, I thought I was sexually free…little did I know how much I was truly blocking! Loosening the binds that constrict me each day in new ways has freed me!

image: Photo credit: © Stokkete from Dreamstime.com

Namaste

__/|\__ Metta

 

Numbers: The Erasure

“three standard deviations”

i am the normal
to your standard deviation of 3.
i love your flirtations, yet
they trigger a lot of “unworthy” in me.

i fear your love,
your affection,
your adoration.
like water poured on rock,
all is lost to evaporation.

~~~~

erasure

since before we separated,
parted in the night,
i’ve been trying to erase you.
all images removed from each
social media site.
wishing it were so easy
to do this in my mind.

in letting go of the good
and the bad memories,
i see now that i was
also working to erase me.
twenty years of my life
almost
down
the
drain.

now i do my best to
embrace it all, so i can
once again
embrace
the
all
that
i
long
to
realize
again.
1.28.2016

The Weighting Game

ID-100120670

So sad to see this beautiful woman, looking at her weight/her worth and being aghast….

The game where
when weight you gain,
you only lose
your worth.

The game where
when weight you lose,
you gain,
maybe.
Self-love,
self-respect,
self-acceptance
can still be elusive,
in skinny jeans.

The game where
your worth is
inversely proportional
to the measurements
of your waist line.

The game where
shame
rules.
With each pound
you lose,
you become more
vulnerable,
Less protected,
Less insulated,
Unless your heart
is unweighted;
true to
loving
you.

The shame,
it keeps us
from claiming
our true
power.
For when
we are focused
on where we
are “not enough”
we balance
it out,
by adding to
our waist,
or further denying
our needs for love
and nourishment.

By not feeling
that we are enough,
we are unable to
receive and use
the gifts and
talents that
are ours.

By weighing
ourselves on an
inverted scale,
how can we ever
win?

Ponder for a
moment, how
much more
you could
accomplish, when
not focused on
self-hatred.
Constant
Self-flagellation
only represses,
rarely uplifts.

So reach up
high, my friend.
Accept your gifts!
And put down
your whip!

Namaste

Photo by Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net

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