Shame is quick to pop it’s ugly face into my thoughts. Lightning quick. It likes to remind me of all the reasons I’m not a good person, and how I somehow don’t measure up. Then it likes to look for proof of my shortcomings in the things other people say to me (especially via text). It has the power to plummet my mood in mere seconds.
Shame is felt in my body as a freezing – everything stalls, my breathing nearly stops, and my brain doesn’t know where to go. Usually, beneath all of this, I can still hear my core self, my witness, and know it’s happening to me, and even know how to move out of it (usually by dancing), but it can feel tremendously difficult to pull out of it without some coaxing. And then I usually judge the need for help, and pull myself even deeper into the shame.
I acknowledge my shame and give it a voice. I allow my shame to move through my body. My shame knows the tools it needs to express itself: a pen and paper, moving music and a dancing body, a loving presence and listening ears. I thank my shame for all the lessons it provides me.