Shame. We try to overcome it. To get rid of it. To cover it up with bravado and smiles, with cleverness and wit, strategically placed to hide the unwanted, the unforgivable.
If only we were not so scarred, not so tarnished, not so cracked and grimy that we had to bury it deep inside, so that now we are shocked when the monstrous energy of shame knocks on the door at unexpected and inconvenient moments. If only we had been born more perfect, more lovable, more worthy of attention and acceptance, so that we would not have to contort ourselves into a thousand shapes in order to convince ourselves we are good enough.
Shame. It sits like a dark stone, heavy and toxic with years of neglect. A guilty secret we hold onto, as if letting it fly free would kill us in the unbearable lightness of being. We’d rather hold tight to the familiarity of sinfulness than fall into the unknown hand of love.
But friend, the only sin you ever encountered is in the move away from your original innocence. Did you think you could enter the kingdom of heaven by walking away from yourself? Did you think you could find yourself in acquisitions or trophies for the mind? Was the grass greener in the pastures of the imagination? Or was it that you couldn’t bear your own fullness?
And now you yearn to come home to your original nature. You long for rest. You long for to be held in the pause between breaths. But somehow that old foe - the immovable shadow of shame - has woven itself into all the spaces, filling you with an awful foreboding.
Friend, here’s the way through … welcome shame, like a neglected friend. Open the door, even just a little, when shame comes knocking from the inside. Offer it up to the light of exposure, a sacrament in the fire of acceptance. Let it burn in the openness, let it consume itself in the vulnerability, let it be transformed in the heart of an innocent “yes”.
And as you stand here - bearing the unbearable - you may discover that in reality you have never moved away from yourself, that you have always been here as this perfect presence, that no ghostly thought or belief or feeling can subtract from the fullness of this present moment. You may discover that no experience is ever repeated, but that it is always appearing in the freshness of now.
Friend, as you stay right where you are - gloriously and unashamedly open to what is here - you may discover that shame is not a punishment, but a portal to your true power.