This post is Grassroots, meaning a reader posted it directly. If you see an issue with it, contact an editor.
If you’d like to post a Grassroots post, click here!

0.2
January 31, 2019

How to Set Yourself Free from Toxic Shame

 

Root Yourself In Truth.

That’s how you release the cells of your body and your entire system from shame. That simple phrase may seem obvious to some individuals. In AA, the phrase adjacent to root yourself in truth is, “We are only as sick as our secrets.” However, having the answer to how to set yourself free from shame isn’t the cure.

 

The power is in the process.

 

Over the last six months I’ve been reading one book after the other focused on human behavior and how to modify it for the common good. Looking back I now see I was curating patience in the face of adversity and giving myself access to unsettled parts of my being. But, there is a time for academic learning and then there is a time for experiential learning.

What has been conceptualized somehow finds a way to animate the body and direct behaviors. I’m no stranger to life lessons. But, for the most part, when the really difficult ones manifest, I faced them by asking myself, “What did I do wrong?” I’d often over extend my contrition and take the blame for a situation that was co-created through dysfunction.

In simple terms, I’d date men who were intrigued with me but when it came time to look at themselves resented my transparency. What I’ve learned from repeating that pattern is that I’m not afraid of the dark. I will go into the shadow lands with another person. But, if they fail to access the strength of character to come out of hiding and instead align with shame, my capacity to continue to connect with them ends.

It can be difficult to be a light-worker in dark places. A lot of people have told me, “You are intimidating.” I require bravery from myself and others. Honestly, this has been fueled by the sheer absurdity of life. My ability to vacillate between control and surrender has endowed me with the capacity to turn failure into freedom. This is what makes me so attractive to those who are in bondage. But, when the moment of truth comes, when it is time for them to be untethered–they run.

Many of us have become addicted to suppression; sometimes misconstrued as oppression. We enjoy the attention we can provoke through our illness. The submissive is the one with the power after all. And the forceful person is just a pawn in a larger game where no one stands on their own two feet.

You see, the initiation that we all must endure is rejection. We have needs. And when those needs are expressed, through courage, more often than not they are denied. Some of us stop at this, “I can’t get my needs met.” So, rather than risk it, we give our power over to some sort of addiction.

This substance, emotion, thought pattern, or stimuli has the traits of being predictable, controllable, and reliable. In effect, it’s a substitute parent. Crippled by false control, we crawl through our unexamined lives. Sick. Poor. Emotionally Bankrupt. Glimmers of health offend us when we are whores for shame. We argue for our limitations.

Freedom is experienced as terror in this place. The exiles of our shame have been held in place by addiction for so many years, to break the habit would be to betray behaviors that mimicked survival. This is the edge I bring my lovers, friends, and clients to. This is the edge I’ve cut myself on time and time again. And shame is seductive in the face of freedom. It uses manipulation to recruit others to justify itself. And it has a monologue.

 

WHAT TOXIC SHAME SOUNDS LIKE::

Hey—

Drink this poison.

Mmmhhmm

Come on; if you don’t drink this you are not meeting my needs.

Ehhhhhh, no.

Why? Why won’t you drink it? It’s just poison. And I don’t want to drink it alone.

Ummm…why do you want me to drink poison? Won’t that harm both of us?

You know what—you are being dumb. Maybe you aren’t hearing me. DRINK. THE. POISON.

Dude, I’m not going to.

Well if we are going to keep fucking each other & if you cared about me, you would drink it & the fact you won’t makes me not trust you. Now I’m really sad.

You know, maybe you should just drink it or find people that will supply you with more of it.

What? That’s ridiculous! Why would I want more poison?

*silence*

 

To be clear, pleasure isn’t poison. Pleasure is ascension. But, false pleasure in the form of manipulation, control, or subversion is the elixir of shame. In plunges us into hell and that is where we will remain for the totality of our existence unless we allow ourselves to be set free through truth.

 

I love every one of these men that spew shame on me to try and control my behavior so they can feel as if they possess me. And in fact, I have, like demons do, been possessed by anxiety, terror, lust, and murderous rage. I’ve crawled into cages of our making just for the moniker of “being in a relationship.” Nothing validates shame more than giving up one’s power to external forces.

 

Truth returns us to ourselves. The essence of God that lives in every one of us–the collective oneness of beingness–is freedom. This is where it all changes: The moment you become nurtured by truth rather than victimized by it. It becomes too exhausting to live in hiding. Lies feel like swallowing nails. The poison that eroded every cell in your body begins to be detoxed through grace.

 

New life grows freely when we are rooted in truth. We become fertile souls no longer seduced by the illusion of control. We let go and fall into the loving embrace of truth time and time again. Through every transition, through every season, through the darkness, through the passageways, truth is our anchor.

 

So, you see, knowing to root in truth requires working the process. And my truth is, we need each other as we ascend from hell, through the corridors of validation, into the peace that passes understanding. Truth is life. Truth is kindness. Truth sets us free. And that is what I am here for.

Rebekah Freedom

Leave a Thoughtful Comment