Friday, May 18, 2018

The companions of shame and unworthiness

To cleanse and dissolve the lenses of unworthiness, shame, narcissism, and self-absorption require the willingness to confront and integrate a certain sort of upheaval in our psychic reality (not to mention our intimate relationships) and we will be asked to reorient in ways that we cannot know beforehand.

For example, if we are no longer able to engage in relationship from the ground of our own unworthiness - or our work in the world from our own sense of poverty and fear - how will we engage? If those familiar reference points are no longer available in quite the same way, what will we organize around? Our unworthiness and fear have become such integrated fellow travelers that we cannot know ahead of time what it will be like to be in the world without their companionship.

Yes, there is a certain excitement and thrill in this, but it can generate quite a lot of anxiety, trepidation, and disorientation in lived experience. The invitation is to be kind to ourselves during these times of transition and contradiction, honoring the actualities of what it means to encode new circuitry, to choose something different, to re-imagine a new way.

We will never reorganize the patterns of a lifetime by means of self-aggression and self-abandonment, which will only reinforce the realities of early empathic failure and the shame which arose from the deep sense that there is something fundamentally wrong with us.

Yes, awareness, clarity, and insight are critical. They are necessary, but not sufficient. We all “know” what we need to do. At some point it becomes a practice of the heart, where love is revealed to be the ultimate medicine.

My latest book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

My next two events: 

The Path is Everywhere: A Weekend Intensive, June 15-18 in Loveland, Colorado

The Great Befriending: A Five-Day Journey of Self-Love, Deep Rest, and Coming Alive (with Jeff Foster), September 21-26 in Loveland, Colorado