Shame for shining is a real thing. I’m working with that giant.
Getting out of toxic relationships was a bold act of self love as I gave myself permission to be ME and to learn how to shine from my Divine Spark Self. There is resistance from inner protection parts that knew how to make myself really small to guard my vulnerable, Life Force spark. There were parts of me that were afraid to be too loud, take up too much time, too much space, express too much emotion. I was consistently afraid of making other people uncomfortable or creating feelings of insecurity or inadequacy. Worse yet, I was deeply afraid of awakening something dangerous in people if I was too shiny. So to protect you, I turned down the sparkle. And to protect myself from your rejection or your consumer mentality, I dimmed my radiance. All the while, I had equally strong connection to my Divine Spark Self that was dying to express, laugh, flow, fly, illuminate and breathe life into lifeless places.
My therapist reminds me that I don’t make anyone feel anything. Right! I’m not that powerful. I simply get to be myself and whatever someone experiences when they are with me is within themselves, not something I created in them. That is liberation! After a lifetime of taking responsibility for everyone else’s feelings and responses and reactions to me or even to shared life circumstances, I am finally free to let you own your own responses and reactions. And I’ll own mine. This is a main key to my current freedom and joy.
I’m finally able to walk this out the majority of the time. Occasionally, a situation triggers me and I’m right back in my small, self protected space or feeling ashamed that I was just too much for someone. Here’s one of those moments and the redemption that followed.
I was recently at a seminar with a lot of well trained, brainy humans. I was experiencing a pretty decent amount of intimidation going into the training. I didn’t want to engage in the measuring up game. I was struggling to keep the “you’re not good enough/you’re too much” voice stuffed deep inside somewhere. It kept escaping to whisper in my ear so I wouldn’t forget to keep it together, reminding me of past moments of embarrassment. Quickly, I remembered that I was sick of being a well trained human! I lived that for WAY too many years. My Divine Spark Self lassoed the little “not good enough/too much” voice and kept it quietly distracted. I felt relatively free to live and speak from my heart the whole weekend without feeling ashamed.
Until the last moments of the entire training.
As I approached the lead lecturer to express my gratitude, my heart burst forward in copious amounts of joy and gratitude for the experience of the weekend, tears and all. And before my logic brain could register his befuddled expression, all of my “too much” was out there and I could not reel it back in. He recovered from his befuddlement rapidly and I interpreted his response that followed as placating the over emotional girl. Enter Shame and the very loud, “You are wayyyy too much” voice.
Because I hate the feeling of shame, I folded it up nice and neatly to feel into at another time. Two days later, I was having coffee with a dear friend who can handle all my extravagance and exuberance and the story came tumbling out, tears and all.
She looked me in the eyes and simply said, “Oh, Emie. He’s just used to roses and daisies and you are an orchid. There is no shame in your glorious, expressive self put right out there for everyone to choose to engage or not.”
That afternoon, I looked up the meaning of an orchid. Jaw to the floor, I read this intrepretation by a woman named Avia,
“Where other flowers cloak their reproductive goods within silky petals…orchid says: “Uh huh…here’s my sassy stuff, enjoy, love me, cherish me.” In fact, the orchid is so self-assured of her beautiful reproductive parts, that often she’s able to self-pollinate. What does this mean on a symbolic level? It talks about self love. Loving ourselves to such a degree that we can create our own offspring in the form of dreams, goals, art, projects, connections. I think of all the lessons the orchid shares with us, self-love is the most vital.
Orchid is unabashed. She flaunts her stuff. She boldly expands her beauty. She emits her fragrance as if the world is depending on it. In fact, maybe the world is. We all owe orchids a big debt by sustaining bee populations.”
The rest of the day, I was contemplating the kindness of Spirit to speak glory into my shameful moment in such a stunning way. The intimate affirmation of Spirit to my soul in the trenches of learning deep self love and self expression was a stake in the ground. I was finishing my day with an errand at Target. On my way to the check out, I stop dead in my tracks in disbelief at the stand of orchids in the middle of the aisle! I know the principle that we see what we are looking for, but I swear I have never seen an orchid for sale in TARGET of all places. Of course, I chose one. I took her home and named her Estrella. I don’t have a great track record keeping plants alive. If she dies, I won’t go into an existential crises. But as long as she lives, I will sit with her and learn to reflect her elegant, bold, self assured beauty.
I am learning to shine without shame in all circumstances. Estrella will be an intimate teacher. May love and radiance shine from your deep Divine Spark Self to the world as well. Thanks for sharing your time with me. I’m happy to have shared mine with you.