26 ~ Shame

Now that I my inner world becomes more powerful and confident, I can also work slowly, step by step, on my fortitude and self-assurance in the outside world.  

For as long as I can remember, I felt a very powerful, loving and radiant energy within my soul. An energy that just wants to erupt in love, dancing, singing and experience the joy of freedom, but which I have always put away deep within myself because I was too afraid of emotional pain. I was afraid that if I would let myself be completely free it would make me vulnerable and that I wouldn’t be able to cope with any possible emotional pain if I would be criticized. I wasn’t confident enough and lacked basic self-esteem to handle criticism properly. 

I hid my free and loving energy in the depths of my soul and then hid my soul, and thus my entire self, in an imaginary armor. Like a knight from the Middle Ages, I was constantly walking around in a heavy metal harness. A harness that allowed me to survive, but at the same time limited my life incredibly.  

How much freedom do I want to give up to be safe and how much life do I want to give up for security in a life where nothing is certain? 

It was time to consciously free myself from the armor and to start expressing my powerful, loving and radiant energy again.  

Letting go of my trauma needs (23 ~Needs) turned out to be a very important aspect in daring to let go of my harness. Because I am less dependent on other people’s approval, I can choose for myself more easily. I can now make myself more aware of my trauma needs and think “I have no needs regarding you. You may disapprove of me, because I have no need for your approval.” 

In addition to letting go of my trauma needs, I regularly use two important topics that help me to get rid of my harness. I call them “a zombie apocalypse” and “shame.”  

The zombie apocalypse is something I try to apply when I feel that I want to express my wild, free and loving energy beyond the safety of my armor, in the middle of the social world. I imagine that there has been a zombie apocalypse and that I live in a human-abandoned world. I ask myself what I would do or not do if I was all alone in the world. Would I just sing along in the car when the windows were closed? Would I stop singing as soon as others could hear me? Would I only dance exuberantly within the safe walls of my house? No, I’d live. If I were alone in the world, I would immediately throw out the harness and let all the energy run wild. I would open the windows of my car and I would enjoy all the notes that my vocal cords produce while I would enjoy the feeling of the wind in my hair. I would go dancing on the beach, on the moors or among the trees and I would enjoy life with a smile on my face.  I would love, live and be free.  

And so I increasingly imagine myself that there has been a zombie apocalypse and in those moments I try to be as free as possible.  

Sing, dance and be free without shame.  

The second subject, shame, allows me to get closer to my own standards and values and to remain faithful to them with self-confidence. 

Not so long ago, it became clear to me how often I actually, unconsciously, say what I think other people want to hear, conceal my opinion, communicate in a way that does not suit me or dare not defend my own choices because I try to avoid conflict, shame or social discomfort.  

When this became clear to me, I began to ask myself how this could have happened while I had always seen myself as an outspoken and steadfast person. Why could I sometimes be so steadfast and believe in myself and at other times totally deny my pure being? 

I found out that I did not remain faithful to some of my own values, choices and ideas because I had not yet consciously approved them myself and that if I did consciously approve of them, I could stay faithful to myself. 

When I realized this, I agreed with myself that, in the moments when I notice that I no longer dare to remain true to myself, I ask one question, namely: Do I approve it myself? If the answer is yes, I stayed true to myself. And if the answer is no? Even then I remain true to myself, because in those moments I consider what’s important for me, from my own integrity, and do not let myself be influenced by and for other people’s possible approval.  An approval I don’t need anymore, because if I approve of my own standards, values, choices and ideas, then I have nothing to be ashamed of. 

As long as I live my life with integrity, the only approval I need is my own approval. 

Slowly, step by step, I am freeing myself from the armor that has always protected me, but has no purpose anymore. I don’t dare to leave the armor completely just jet, but I’m sure I will be able to do it someday.  

It’s been almost a year since I started writing my blog and when I look back at who I was, just one year ago, I already see a world of difference. I see that my life is changing from survival to creating. The dark place where I started climbing one year ago (3 ~The climb) is already far behind me and with everything I have learned during my climb I look into the future with a strong determination. A future that is slowly but surely beginning to reveal itself. 

No answer in my quest has been the answer, no solution has been the solution, but by continuing to look at every difficult moment as a learning opportunity I am where I am today and that feels very good, because I can love, live and be free most of the time now. I now also see more clearly that it is really about the journey and not about the destination. If someone had given me all the knowledge I now posses, one year ago, I wouldn’t have understood that knowledge. I wouldn’t have understood the knowledge because I wouldn’t have understood every single lesson. 

Step by step I get closer to my goal, my own piece of heaven on earth, living from the core of my personality. 

~ 

“I came home the other day and my husband was playing cards in the living room with three friends. I really wanted to take an online dance class at that moment, but I didn’t know where I could dance. Dancing in the attic was not an option because the children were already sleeping and it was really too cold to dance outside. At first I thought the living room wasn’t an option because of the four men sitting there, but then I suddenly thought; “Well, it’s my house, I want to dance, I just do it here in the living room.”  

So I moved the rug and put my phone on the table. I took off my vest and then got out of the men’s immediate view. Then I said to the men; “I’m going to dance, there’ll be a little bit of music, but it’ll only take 25 minutes.” At that moment the men all started to give comments and that continued while I was dancing. “Haha, you’re wheezing” ,”What on earth are you doing?” and “Hahaha you look like a dog.” And you know, when I decided not to care about their judgements anymore, all their judgments didn’t even affect me anymore. It was so nice and it felt like such a victory for myself! I just danced blissfully and I would swear that they were all secretly jealous of my freedom! I wanted to share this with you – I feel that I’m growing!” (Personal message from a friend)