Shame is the core of our human lives here on earth. It is the marrow of the ego. Because of the way that we can’t love each other well enough, we all run around as if something is missing or as if something needs to be cut out of us. We know that if we aren’t loved well enough, some abstract something must be wrong and bad about us. We don’t know what it is. So we are on an endless quest either one direction or the other. Either to figure out what is so wrong and bad about us and fix it so we can be loved. Or try to prove to ourselves and the world that we are really good so we can be loved. Sometimes, we take both paths at once.
Sometimes when I look out at an audience, my heart breaks. I teach people about themselves. Both the shadow and the light. When I do this, when I make people aware of aspects of themselves that are holding them back from what they are wanting, so often it simply makes people feel shame. I can’t move frontwards or backwards without triggering this feeling of shame. And looking out at an audience of people who have come to a self-help/self growth workshop, I am essentially looking at an ocean full of people who believe that there is something wrong with them that needs to be fixed. They are hoping I will tell them what it is so they can get love. And I wonder sometimes, am I really doing well at setting people free or am I playing into this belief that is rooted in shame. Maybe I am doing both.
I am on an airplane headed to New York for a series of appearances on the east coast. Sitting here on the plane, I had a vision. The vision I saw is that people cut themselves off from their own personal power because of shame. A basic household is a collection of people vying for power. In a world where power has been so misused, to feel that someone has more power than you have makes you feel powerless. You think that when you are powerless someone is going to hurt you. So to prevent that hurt, you try to strip them of power and gain power.
As children, our power so often threatens the adults in our lives. And so they take on a subconscious mission to humble us and to cut us down to size so that they can maintain control and stay safe from anarchy. They sometimes do this to make us ‘good’ so that they can be seen as good parents by other people in the world. When we step into our power, instead of channeling it, they shame us for it. We learn that to be safe from punishment and shaming and isolation and to be loved, we have to cut ourselves off from our own personal power. We have to disown it and suppress it and make others think it is not there. We become ashamed of our own power. But then life has a way of wanting us to integrate. There comes a time when we have to step into a role that requires us to re-own that power. It is then that we have to face our own shame.
I saw myself as a toddler in this vision. The reality is that I was born with a serious amount of personal power. I was born with an air of significance and authority. The adults in my life had plenty of belittling names for this aspect of me. I was shamed for it. I saw myself in this vision growing into that power and an adult in my life rushing in to humble me. But this time, I stopped it. I didn’t let the interference happen. I dealt with the fear this person had about me growing big. And then I watched as this toddler allowed her inner power to swell within her. Her body split like a snakeskin around it. And then another swelling from within of another embodiment of power and leadership. Just like the first, this one split the embodiment of the last, like a snakeskin. This happened three more times. Then I went into the body that was now before me. A kind of goddess. But within me, I could feel the writhing tickle of another more powerful self-trying to be embodied. I went into that deeper self that was trying to be born. I allowed myself to grow so as to split the goddess body like a snakeskin. When the split happened, I saw myself explode with magnitude through the embodiment and fall with a huge splash into the ocean. I looked at my embodiment. My skin was glistening. I was not a human. I was an enormous blue whale.
I started crying. “I get it” I thought to myself. Many of you already know that my shadow totem is the whale. I’ve been terrified of whales all my life. I’ve been terrified of them because the whale (apparently the blue whale specifically) is my suppressed and denied and disowned self. The self I decided was the most unacceptable. The part of me that was unlovable to the adults in my childhood who didn't want me to get too big for my britches so to speak. The magnitude, the power, the authority, the sovereignty, the diving in the deeps. All the qualities of the blue whale.
But I am being called into an even larger role in the scheme of my purpose. I have been in a 3 year re-birth process in fact so that this could happen. And the time has come for me to embody that self which I cut myself off from. I need to do it so I can step into this new level. The red fox is my spirit animal. The fox will always be with me... In me. But I am being called to transition from embodying the fox to embodying the blue whale. And so I am.
It is so poetic that the things we think are the furthest apart from us are the deepest within our core. It is so poetic that by diving into our greatest pain, we resurface with our greatest desires. The place our most divine self is hidden is deep within the murky depths of our shame.