Shame…the toxic mantle of illusion

Shame….the toxic mantle of illusion

There are so many aspects to shame all offering a toxic cloak. Their job? Among others to create illusion, to Shield us from what is actually a false reality. To prevent us from being in purpose, from self and from the totality of who we are here to be. Keeping us small, stuck in a skin we have often long outgrown but are fearful of leaving behind. To keep us locked in story. A story that often is not our own. It is often imposed, learned and embedded from before we could talk, even born if we take into account epigenetics.

The Illusion of shame keeps us separate from ourselves, from ourselves to others and from others to ourselves. It creates masks and within that Shame creates a certain ‘lens’ to our vision which means we are unable to see the ‘truth’ and the TRUTH.

Shame be it ancestral or our own clouds our judgement. How often have we taken what another says and made it our own through our inability to truly honour ourself? How often have we rejected ourselves or another through ‘shame’ be it weight, class, sexuality? Do we know that is why we are rejecting? The subtle edge of the cloak of shame is so nuanced sometimes we are not able to discern that it is actually shame that is playing its part in our decision making.

How often do we play out old patterns learnt from a young age to ‘keep small, keep quiet, be good’, ‘be slimmer’ ‘’don’t eat that/do that’, ‘don’t flaunt yourself’?

Hearing the words ‘do as I say’, ‘boys don’t cry, girls should be seen and not heard’ etc etc create those demons that live on our shoulders whispering lies into our psyche, creating doubt and forcing us to reject ourselves and others over and over again. I know these intimately. They are painful, limiting and deeply toxic patterns.

Listening to Brene Brown again recently and her talk on shame I recognise more and more the underpinning of this toxic emotion as ‘fear’ of ‘not being good enough’. Fear of being totally vulnerable by being totally present to life. Fear Of knocking out all the stops and to manifest into wholeness. To live fully with an open heart, open voice and open wild curiosity. The fear of rejection, abandonment, rejection all linked to ‘shame’.

Shame is often others projections of their not feeling able to be bigger, bolder, braver. It is others wanting to ‘keep us safe’ due to an inability to keep themselves safe or be kept safe by those that were meant to care give.

Shame is a toxic clock known to many of us which is hindering us in life itself. In relationships. In communications. It is the aspect of self that causes us to look critically at ourselves ‘does my bum look big in this?’

The patriarchal BS of how a woman ‘should look and behave’. All to conform to a ‘norm’ created by those wanting to shame to keep us small and in a box. To cull our desires and wanton, potent healing nature. The witches and women that were taken out in their prime in order to ‘control’ that which they were unable to control or understand. Making us ‘wrong, evil and dirty’. Shaming us for what lies between our thighs. Raping and taking in order to contain. Shaming. Shaming. Shaming. Defiling and killing the spirit. Taking away the ‘right’ to be sexual, free and liberated expressive beings.  Watching this ‘walk of shame’ in Game of Thrones brings it home how we have been violated deeply Walk of shame

As women we have taken on this patriarchal nonsense as our own. Indeed. We even look at each other and ‘shame’. This impacts our family, our community and those we do not know. Indeed, will never know. The media and celebrity culture shows this beautifully. It thrives and makes millions on us ‘shaming each other’. It isn’t just women. Men do it too. As women to men. Indeed, humankind seem to ‘shame’ for the sake of shaming, often without real conscious awareness of what we are doing. Shame. That toxic clock of despair when we don’t ‘make the grade’. Hell, at least some of us actually get out there and ‘do our best to better ourselves’ and want to ‘wobble the world’ with our curves, our voices, our power and song.   Plunging ourselves head long into love, life and living. Toxic cloak and all.

Some of us wish to cease feeling this toxicity seeping into our very essence of life, our bloodstream. Instead of feeling encumbered by the toxic cloak of shame be begin to unravel and untangle it’s heavy load upon us and we begin to learn to dance our truth, liberating ourselves and our voices, our sexuality, bodies and pure libidic energy. We fight our way through the quagmire of toxic thoughts and limitations and learn to honour ourselves and our bodies.

We stop ‘settling’ for the crumbs offered by others regardless of whence they came and we demand the biggest piece of cake or steak that life can offer.

We cease accepting the lies and deception. The BS relationships and ‘playing’ by others who ‘devalue us because we devalue ourselves’. We begin to know and demand that we are worthy of the ‘wholeness’ and ‘holiness’ of self and connection, and if it is not being offered we move on knowing we have done our best, we have most importantly learnt to value and honour ourselves. To know deeply we are worthy and great enough.

When we accept ourself as all we are, and all we are not instead of imposing others views upon ourselves or casting a blurred lens over our beauty and brilliance. We nullify shame. We cease marring our vision and becoming less than we are. We ‘enable’ ourselves and others. We assist rather than ‘desist’. We simply begin to live as is our birthright before all the stories became ingrained.

We learn to be who we truly are. Naked. Whole. Beautiful. Perfect in our imperfections.

Previously, I would never have posted a photo of myself like this through my deep body shame.

I would have asked previously ‘am I too fat?’ Yes, I know I now have a ‘good’ body but it takes work and care and nourishing myself. I am heavier than I have been but not as heavy as I was. I have come to a place of acceptance. Now I say..’thank you for my glorious body that is healthy and strong’ and whilst I still work on my nuances of shame and the limitations they bring I say ‘f**k shame and what you think….. I’m grateful to be me’!

I invite shame to sit by my side not inside my body, sex and psyche, I ask it to guide and highlight where I know I want to heal, not lead into false self and above all I ask shame to dissolve into a vapour rather than the mantle pulled too tight around my throat, thighs and heart as it has been all my life and to leave me naked, free and truly at one with life.

Sarah Bullock
Creative Psychotherapist, Health Coach and Dancer