From Shame to Shamaness
“I’m not hiding. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve. Everything anyone wants to know about me is right in front of their faces. Most just don’t bother to look” Jeaniene Frost
Shame is endemic in our culture and sexuality. It has shown up constantly in my being and body. I’ve been reflecting on this word ‘shame’ quite a bit recently in the crossover from 2017 to 2018 and how it stops me showing up fully here and now. How it reflects in how I behave in my everyday life, in my body, in what I wear, how I express and how I make love.
In my continued war with my body, I’ve covered up, hidden my breasts, my yoni, my belly. I’ve been ashamed of my curves and the warmth of my sensuality. I’ve been afraid to let others hear my Voice in the fear of being judged, told to be quiet. You’re too big, too much for others to hold and so I made myself big externally quite literally to cover the shame, to hide from my beauty. The shame ate at my body, ravaged into the folds and curvatures that held my sex. And yet something else gnaws at this shame, whispers to me and I’m reminded of this quote
“And I said to my body softly, I want to be your friend. It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this”
We can all find a reason, a story to hide behind the shame. Sexual abuse, name-calling, judgement from others. I too have my story from having large breasts and being called names from the age of 12 when they first developed and having to ask my Mother to get a bra because I was being teased at school. My father telling me to take that dress off because I looked like a ‘slut’ in not so many words. From being afraid to sing because of the fear of being asked to ‘be quiet’ and yes it still happens. I hold shame around my power, my beauty because in showing up it means I will be ‘seen’, I will be accountable. In showing up without shame, I can be a trigger for others. But keeping myself small for fear of showing up fully in my true power and potency is not the answer. I only hold myself to ransom. By sharing my story in sacred space, it lessens the shame and helps me be less attached to it.
“You cannot really shame a man/woman who sincerely does not care what others think of him” Mokokoma Mokhonoana
A friend recently called me a ‘shamaness’ – a term which I really like but was afraid to call myself for fear of what others might think. In sharing this with a POD from my Sexological Bodywork training and my call this year in 2018 to sit with the theme around shame, someone beautifully pointed out the close correlation between the word shamaness and shameless, to own my shamaness and let the shame drop away.
So YES, I’m calling that in.
And what draws and holds us together, what helps you and me to let go of shame is EMPATHY. The ability to understand and share the feelings of another, to witness without advice, without having to ‘make it better’ – to hold space for ALL to be revealed.
When we can sit in a space and be held in showing up as our messy, unfettered selves, to me that is something incredibly potent and beautiful. I then see the magic and beauty in me and in you. I feel the common threads that bind us, I see your vulnerability and in witnessing I feel the oneness.
Our most beautiful mirror Mother Earth doesn’t feel any shame in how she shows up. She sings to us in all her myriad forms of thunder, lightning, volcanoes, tornadoes, and tsunamis. She floods us with her being. She doesn’t wait for a signal, she pours forth. And from the rain comes the sunshine. And we see her beauty and give worship to it.
I/We have been silenced in our shame. We have forgotten the incredible beauty and valour of one who is unfettered in her creativity, in her song, in her willingness and courage to step into the unknown. And yet we yearn for this. It’s what gives us purpose. It’s what propels us to draw, to sing, to make love, to create.
And YES, to the possibilities when I let go of the shame, when I let myself be vulnerable, to step into the unknown. I become a model for others but most of all for myself. In my ease and in-ti-ma-cy I show up and create the life I know I was born to live.
So, what else is possible when I can live in a state of Wild Innocence unfettered by these chains, when I let go of having to be perfect. More will be revealed.......
“Jan could not recall ever seeing a creature more beautiful, though there nagged somewhere at the back of his mind the notion that she ought to have seemed hideous. Why? For she was pure, admirably pure, without a twinge of conscience or shame
Meredith Ann Pierce
“One will be become shameless if he does not fear insults in the worldly life. If one does not fear being insulted, he becomes independent”