Shame or Self-Acceptance: The Key to Flowing Through Life
Those who have been blessed with encouraging and inspirational parents and teachers, have been given the power to believe in themselves. This is what breeds one's success in life.
Those who have been conditioned to think lowly of themselves, have to constantly struggle through life against their shame & resistance. They go through life like a person who is driving with the brakes on; bucking through life in resistance to it by constantly having to use "willpower". They have to do this because their subconscious minds are not in belief that at their core, they can trust themselves or life. They have been taught not to trust themselves or life and are "driven" by fear and shame.
The "cure" to this struggle is learning how to change the subconscious mind to BELIEVE. Believe both in the benevolence of the universe, as well as the ability to personally succeed by staying in its flow. We don't have to struggle against life with willpower, but flow with it in trust.
As an example of negative conditioning, let's consider what has come to be known as the "fighting" Irish Catholic syndrome. The belief that has been bred in many is that they have to "fight" in order to make it in life. That others are out to "get you" and "you'd better" be hyper-vigilant or others will dominate you. This may be fine if done in an effort to breed soldiers who "fight for Truth" and against tyranny as in movies like Braveheart, but often soldier's children are raised to become soldiers when there's nothing to "fight" for! Artists and ministers are bred to become soldiers they simply are not suited to become. Their emotional sensitivity is such that they simply cannot tolerate these conditions. They are shamed and intimidated into becoming round pegs in square holes. Fighting FOR justice is one thing. Fighting AGAINST oneself is another.
Another condition often bred is that deep at their core they are "bad" or "wrong" and should become "martyrs" to make up for their "sins". This is based upon the Catholic "original sin" concept which I believe was originally developed by Moses and others in an attempt to keep unruly people who were wandering around in the desert for decades under control. It quickly became abusive however and was misused to coerce and dominate people into believing what they wanted them do under this threat. Both parents and religious leaders use this lie & shame to dominate & control us into believing what they want us to. As far as I'm concerned, no worse abuse has been done to the human race than the threat of eternal damnation in hell by religionists. The holocaust was nothing compared to the amount of people who have been disempowered and abused over thousands of years by this lie.
The shaming that goes on by both the Catholic church and the judgmental parents (who have become that way because they were also bred to believe in dysfunctional standards by their authority figures), results in poor self-esteem and shame that forces the victim to either become compulsive about becoming "perfect" or simply surrendering to depression believing they will never "make it" in this world and are "doomed to fail". Those who succeed become addicted to success and "driven to succeed". Those who don't become "losers" who are deflated and prone to waste away in doom & depression or escape through alcohol or drugs. Neurotics, compulsives, perfectionists, workaholics, addicts, or depressives are bred. Competitiveness seems to breed many more losers than "winners".
What is never questioned is the standards (values) many were bred to believe in. They are so "reactive" and living so subconsciously that they never stop to question internal values and standards. They never stop to wonder whether the opinions of their dysfunctional teachers was valid or not and whether or not they should "give up" measuring themselves by these erroneous value systems. It is sad that many never get to understand that they have been subconsciously abusing themselves for years needlessly because of these erroneous dysfunctional beliefs about themselves that were inserted into them by dysfunctional teachers. It is sad that many end up suicidal, addicted, depressed or insane because of this needless shame and are never given an opportunity to recover because they never get the message that they are inherently good and worthy beings.
We've been had! For years, many of us have been going around believing these lies of shame and false values that were written in our subconscious minds when we were children. We've forgotten that who and what we REALLY are is FINE and that there is no need to PROVE ourselves, only desire to create and grow! The opinions fed into us by others can be left behind if we can find ways to show and convince our subconscious minds that they were indeed erroneous beliefs. We can free ourselves from inertia by remembering who we are. We can then start accepting ourselves and flowing with life instead of constantly fighting ourselves. Self-Love is the key to a flowing life.
How do we remember who we are anyway? It may not be easy for many of us who have been invalidated, shamed, and criticized since we were quite young. We have to find ways to develop positive self-images and surrender our faulty belief systems. We have to find ways to detach ourselves from the inner tyrrants of self-retribution, which constantly hound us and re-affirm our self-worth. We have to find ways to finally feel again the contentment of self-acceptance. This often requires the encouragement, validation and support of others through 12-step support groups, personal coaches, counselors, or friends.
As adults, we have a choice as to whether or not we chose to give away our dignity. We may not have been able to do this as children because we were dependent upon the tyrants who criticized us. But as adults, we are no longer helpless. We can choose to defy those who criticize us, ignore their criticisms, and continue to honor ourselves and our choices. We no longer have to surrender our opinion of ourselves to others and walk away feeling shameful for our differences. We are not "wrong" for choosing our own way in life. Each one of us is an honorable being with the right to choose our own direction and creative expression at will. The pursuit of happiness is a God given right.
Remember, even Jesus said that "Unless you become like little children (who instinctively pursue happiness) you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." He also said that "The kingdom if Heaven is Within You." If Heaven abides Within us... We can stop looking outside for it and start looking within. This requires veiwing ourselves in much more appreciative and self-affirming ways.