Healing Shame, Embodying Divinity
There’s a story that sits in the center of my experience, but I rarely tell it.
I reference it always, because it was definitive in its scope of intensity and impact, and to speak of my journey in any meaningful way requires reference to it. But I hardly ever speak its details. I haven’t been able to.
I’ve been too ashamed.
The story is made of a long and drawn-out drama that culminated in a trauma that shattered my body, my life, and my relationship with living and being alive. At the time, most of the people around me blamed me for it, which added an enormous weight of shame to the devastation that it already was.
But the lions share of the shame came from my own complicity in the journey.
At first, I chose my way out of the story. It was my initial response when the first thing happened. But then I chose my way back into it because I felt like I was losing something that meant everything to me and I didn’t know what it would cost to cleave onto it in the only way I knew how to at that point in my journey.
I became complicit in what led to utter devastation.
This story has arisen with a passion lately. I know why it’s here, and though it is a journey I would prefer not to need to take, I am ready to meet this opportunity with full heart and presence. It feels to me that this could be the final healing of this tale: this could be the work that brings full and final liberation and the fulfilment of my own greater possibilities through the integration of the whole of my Spirit, Soul, and Self.
I’m willing to be profoundly uncomfortable for that. I’m willing to sit in council with this Being again and to fully behold it at an even deeper level than I have before for that. I know already that that's the only way to claim the power that is bound up inside of it and to release the dross that deserves no permanent home in the temple of my Soul.
So we have begun our latest - perhaps our last - pas de deux.
I wrote the beginning of the story out in full detail for the first time the other day. I had approached that writing a hundred times and more in the past ten years, but couldn’t ever carry through with it. I have deleted files, torn up drafts, burned notebooks, stopped in the middle of speaking it, thrown scraps of paper off of cliffs and sent them out to sea. I’ve never just told it and let it be there before.
Written. There to be seen, and possibly judged, misunderstood, ridiculed, dismissed as irrelevant. Hurt.
That writing brought all the shame to the surface, which was horribly uncomfortable. I was literally on fire, my skin hot and tingling, my stomach feeling deeply acidic, my head ringing, my nerves jangling. I sat in council with it all for a while, and then I had to dance, sing, and cry. I had to feel it all. That's the dance in the video below. Burning. One of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.
Ultimately, through the fire and into the ashes, it feels amazing to have begun in this way.
It felt good to finally turn my whole attention towards it. It felt good to let the dam crack and feel the shame pour out and disperse. It lost some of its power over me, just because I looked it straight in the eye without flinching and told the whole story. And it also revealed to me a deeper beauty in the story that I hadn’t been able to see when the shame was screaming for having been repressed. I was able to gather up that life force and bring it into my being for my own use. I did that ritual through dance, song, and silence with the land.
It is spoken, and spoken truly, that shame gains power in secrecy. I gave this story that power over me for many, many years, even as I worked the teachings in the most empowering way I could the whole time. I learned how to be initiated by my journey and have become a magnificent Being, yet the shame that I have harbored and protected with my silence and secrecy allowed the deepest of the work to go undone, so that I still lived in a state of compromise, diminished and contracted around something that I was trying to hide from myself and the world.
We're only ready when we're ready. We have to cook. We have to evolve. It takes time. And the time it takes is worth it when we use that time well.
For all this time, I was estranged from fully embodying my divinity at a very subtle level. My energy, my life force, the holy thing that I truly AM, could not flourish with this shame in the center of my being. I was still compromised and distorted. I was bound. I was diminished.
This step in my initiation is a profound new apocalypse.
Sounds dramatic? It’s not. Apocalypse means, at its roots, “uncovering” or “revealing,” especially as that relates to matters of divinity and the holy. My Life is holy. I am a holy being. We all are. So this story is my holy story because this has been the journey of my life. To uncover and behold this story even more deeply than I have before, in its unedited entirety, to excavate even more of the beauty, to harvest even more of the power and the wisdom, and to deal even more completely with the shame that has sat in the center of it is an act of reclaiming, healing, and liberation of the highest order.
It is an opportunity to bring myself into full resonance as an energy system and embody my Divinity as a flesh-and-blood person alive in the most extraordinary moment of transformation that has maybe ever occurred in this world.
This is transformative. And it is also an act of magic on behalf of the whole.
We are now in a collective initiation that requires that we fully behold the truth of our reality, how we have been complicit in our own diminishment and the devastation of Life, each other, all other species and life forms, and the planet that we are blessed to know as home, and to do whatever needs to be done to bring ourselves, as individuals and as a world, into a state of true integrity and embodied empowerment as divine beings. This reckoning is happening at the personal, interpersonal, and collective level. I know you feel it. We are all there in our own ways.
This is my personal slice of the work: what's yours?
It could be apocalypse = catastrophy, or it could be apocaplypse = the end of illusion that is a revelation that leads to liberation.
The choice is mine. And the choice is ours.
If we are willing to behold the truth of ourselves and the world with no filters, if we are willing to deal with the pain, shame, anger, fear, or violence that sits in the center of every heart, if we are willing to meet with everything that lives within us and within the world without lying to ourselves or each other, without making excuses, without turning a blind eye to things we don’t know how to behold, then we have chosen the path of apocalypse as liberating revelation.
We have chosen the path that leads to an integrated embodiment of our natural divinity.
It is in this way that we become a conscious and empowered co-creator of the unfolding story and reality that we are a part of right now. It is in this way that we come home. We do it first with ourselves, then with each other, then in the systems that we are a part of, and on and on into the concentric circles of our world.
And that is needed.
You are needed.
We are needed.
That we dive deep into the muck of our experience with an eye towards full and final healing is needed. That we do that in a way that is sophisticated and beautiful is needed. That we do it with honesty, integrity, patience, compassion, and skill is needed.
That we show up for the magnitude of the times with the whole of our attention is needed.
Let’s do it well.
And let’s dance our way through it.