By Rei Williams
Shame is not the same thing as guilt. Guilt is the voice of your conscience. It helps you act with integrity. Guilt is about behavior. It may or may not serve you. Some of us find it greatly motivating. Shame is another beast entirely.
Guilt is about your behavior, or a choice you made. Shame is about who you are. At least, that’s how it feels. Believe it or not, guilt serves a positive purpose for us. When it is not misused or overused by those around us, it helps us hear our Higher Self. The voice of our personal sense of Right. We find out a friend feels hurt by our actions and we feel bad – a sign that we do not want to harm our fellow human beings.
As far as I have seen, shame lacks a positive purpose unless we decide to explore and discover and create one for it. Shame creates a sense of being wrong at the core. I see no positive purpose in that.
Shame often comes with secrecy. There is something we fear for others to learn, so we tuck it away, and there shame grows. Like a string of poison ivy it wraps around our memories, our sense of self.
Enough of this! It does not serve us to feel ashamed. Many in the spiritual communities have felt shamed for one reason or another. It does us no good!
Shame is of distortion, and not of spirit. The Oneness, That Which Is, All That Is – does not approve of shame. All That Is sees its beauty, grace, and vitality reflected in each of us. It does not see reason to condemn our very being. It would make no sense to, for it would be condemning itself – and All That Is has more enlivening things to do.
So, if these words ring true – if you feel the pinch, the weight of shame – what can you do about it?
For starters, share your secrets. Find a trusted person – or a person you know to be safe based on others’ opinions of them – and share your shame. Seek permission. Invite that worthy listener into such a witnessing. Our secrets are heavy to us, and they may be to others as well. So it is an act of respect to extend an invitation.
“I was reading an article about shame, and realized I’ve been carrying that heaviness. The author suggested to share our secrets, and I do have some, and they speak to darkness. Before I go further, I just want to confirm your willingness to bear witness to such energy.”
If they oblige, then share your deep, dark secrets. You might find that this listener can relate. At the least, if you choose your listener wisely, he or she will offer openness and love. You’ll discover that which has marked your spirit is not an object of contempt for those who act with love.
We are our toughest critics. With so much pain in the world to be uplifted and transformed, it does not serve us to carry shame anymore. We need to release it.
Shame can block authenticity, as we may build layers over it to avoid facing it, or to avoid feeling shameful. This is not our authentic truth. I am being authentic when I reveal the wholeness of me, including my so-called secrets.
Divinity does not approve of us walking with our shoulders hunched. Divinity approves of us owning our birthright as creators, and as expressions of Love. That starts with self-love. We cannot truly love another if we cannot see to loving ourselves. And carrying shame can be such a thick block to self-love. Shame can block our connection to Spirit, as well. Shame is distortion, and Spirit frequencies come through in finer levels than the distortion of heavy emotion. If you have wished to feel more fully connected to Spirit, you might ask yourself whether you might have any shame in your energy that could be causing interference. If so, I invite you to release it and embrace a fuller connection with Spirit and Self.
So, share your secrets. Share your woes. If you have tried to hide a scared, scarred child, go ahead and bring it out into the light of day. Again, choose your audience. Some people are not able to respond aligned with Love, due to where they are at on their own path. Choose a listener aligned with love, and share your secrets.
You might also write a letter to the self that has been hidden away to keep that shame under wraps. Express all that is on your heart to share with that part of you. Treat it the way you were (perhaps) not treated though you deserved it.
All That Is supports us in loving action. It is no act of love to hide ourselves away. It is love to be who we are. It is love to support dear friends in being who they really are. May we all embrace in love for self, and love for Self. May we all discard our secrets, and stand with our heads high, filled up with grace and love. May we release the blocks of shame to feel fulfilled in light.
Rei Williams is a student of spirituality, intuitive healer and counselor. Rei works with the unconscious mind to uncover truth in service. Rei offers freebies and paid services over at ReiWilliams.com and her dog, Marley, says hello!
Related (by Sophia):
Sophia’s Story (note: Sophia wrote this originally as an exercise in “sharing your shame” and has since told this story to a room full of about 40 people. It was very cathartic).