Monthly Archives: June 2015



I am shifting gears for this post.  I have been reading the book:  “The Gift of Years” by Joan Chittister.  It is a wonderful book.  I am looking at this phase of my life with loving eyes.  I am eager for what lies ahead.  So, I am feeling all sweet inside about aging.  I turn 65 in August which means I go on Medicare.  I have wanted that since insurance for the self employed has been really really expensive.  So…

My husband bought a new/used motorcycle.  It is a lovely bike for traveling.  We went out for a putt on Sunday.  Within a few miles of our house this young girl is leaning out of her car yelling, “you two are so cute.  I am going to take your picture.”  She proceeded to take several pictures and drove off.  I was amazed.  Apparently we look old.  Apparently our gray hair is a sign of this.  Oh- she also was waving the peace sign at us.  Yes, we are from the 60’s and the hippy peace movement.

I cannot tell you how this amazed me.  I still feel like the young woman who did wave the peace sign in the 60’s.  How could someone see me as old?  It doesn’t matter, but I tell you, it is a surprise.

I see this as the time of life where I become the teacher.  It is the time of life where I live the wisdom I have worked so hard to collect.  I truly don’t care much about the things I used to and care very much about how to be a more forgiving, loving presence.

I had to share this because it made me laugh.  It really helped me looking at my “gift of years” and how I want to use them.


Process of Healing

There is a process we experience as we actively bring our shame into healing.  This process will continue throughout our life.  We may get quicker at catching when we are in shame and be able to utilize our tools more quickly in intervention, but healing is still an ongoing process.

We go from not knowing our rights and choices to learning and living by our rights and making conscious choice in all areas of our life.

We go from not knowing our personal limits to learning what they are and being able to set appropriate boundaries according to those limits.

We go from our life being defined by an external judge (they say) to the internal judge (what is my truth according to an internal value system).

We learn that people and relationships are more important than “things”.

We learn that instead of receiving no recognition for “self” or only being defined by what we “do”, we begin to feel “part of” and count ourself equal to others for “being- not doing.”

We learn to take appropriate responsibility for self instead of blame.

We learn to discern shame which feels dishonest and learn to trust our own perceptions which feels honest and helps me define who I am.

We learn to navigate out of problems we cannot reconcile or people we can’t for forgive by learning how to forgive.

We step into peace, freedom, and love, as we navigate out of shame as our definition of self and move into love as the definition of self.

It is a journey well worth taking!

Just a few things

As I write my book I am really aware of how shame has become an acceptable part of our culture.  As I just listen to people talk in the locker room at the gym, or in grocery lines, or out and about, I hear it continuously.

The most common way I hear it is in people putting other people down for behaving in ways they do not understand.  They go on and on about how stupid some person, or group of people are.

Another common thing I hear are people who think if others would just do what they thing they “should”, then the other person would be much better off.

I also hear much gossip and making fun of others.  We all know bullying has become widespread.  We also know social media can be used to shame people in vicious ways.

I also have heard people be nasty and righteous about their political party and how stupid people in the other party are.  With the presidential elections coming next year, this has only just begun.

It breaks my heart.  We all do it.

How is this shame?

When we carry the attitude that others are wrong or stupid or worthless, it is in the very air we breathe.  We worry about the big wars.  We each need to worry about our own wars.  Shame hurts.

I do not say this to point a finger.  I have to watch myself all the time.  I am most prone to this with those who are closest to me.  Somehow I guess I have thought I had the right since we are close.  I am wrong.

If we want a more peaceful world we need to accept and love people for how they are.  We need to honor peoples’ right to be unique and have their own beliefs.  We need to make peace more important than being right.  This is what intervenes on shame.  This is what makes our world a more loving, safe, peaceful place t be.

I feel sad tonight.  I have just seen so much pain and hurt caused from shame.  I work with the most amazing people who believe they are defective, unworthy, and unlovable.  I want shame to stop.  I want this for me and for you and for all of life.


Shame Backlash

I think it is worth noting that when you consciously start bringing shame into healing there is often, usually, most likely, going to be a backlash.  If one is not prepared for that it can be really frustrating and often scary.  Many people stop their healing process when this happens.

We have identified with shame as our truth for a very long time.  That part of us has become our identity. When that identity is threatened it fights back.  It is helpful to be aware of this.

It seems innocent enough to start affirming our lovableness, and adequacy, and worth.  After all, it is the truth of who we are.  The part that believes we are unlovable, or inadequate, or unworthy, does not agree with the innocence.  So, the defenses come up, or the self defeating behaviors seem stronger than ever.  It is important to keep moving into our healing.  So, we notice the backlash, name it, and keep moving in a new direction.  It may sound something like:

Wow, I have not craved a drink (recovering alcoholic) for years and right now I really want one.  That must be the backlash that comes when I really start claiming my worthiness.  I will get some support for my recovery and keep moving in that direction, even if I am craving.

(This sort of minimizes the intensity, but hopefully makes the point.)

One time I was in an intention group.  We met and held each others intentions.  So, I claimed that I was done with shame.  I would no longer allow it to control me or be my truth.  OMG- I left the group and went on my merry way, only to be slammed by shame.  It came up all over the place and felt so true.  I learned that although I cavalierly claimed my truth:  “I am lovable and worthy as I am”, the shame was not at all cavalier about responding.  I had read about this reaction previously, and was able to recognize it at the time, but I was still stunned by the intensity of the old shame.

Just telling it like it is!


Red Flag- We feel unforgivable

I am writing the section in my book on “Red Flags that we are in Shame”.  I really feel this one is so significant.

Because we believe in our shame as our truth, we don’t believe we, or others, truly deserve forgiveness.   Because we cannot meet the standards perfection demands, and neither can others, we never feel anyone is truly worthy of forgiveness.  We don’t get to acknowledge “the best” because it always falls short.  We don’t get to make mistakes, be human, or falter in any way.  Forgiveness is about releasing judgement, and shame will not allow this.  Shame is all about judgement and judging harshly.  Shame believes if it lets go of this, only something horrible would come of it.  So, we keep demanding of ourselves, not releasing judgement, because we believe we would completely loose control if we did.  Fear wraps us up in a tight bow and won’t let go.