Thursday, May 4, 2017

Shame and Parenting

by Gary Benson

Throughout this article are links to click for books and DVDs on healing shame and emotional hurt.

If we heal ourselves as adults then we won't pass on our unhealed shame to our children. That is the best form of parenting  imaginable. 

Shame and growing up: As adults most of us carry shame. As baby's none of us have built in shame or unresolved hurt. It's learned and assimilated into our psyche.

Life should never be shamed or put down. From the time we are baby's we are told not to cry, what's right and wrong, we are spanked or hit with verbal or physical abuse. As baby's we have no way to process that. Babies are needy and that's okay. As babies we only want to be acknowledged and held. This doesn't mean parents need to give in to every whim of the crying baby. It's not about giving in. It's about the  ability to acknowledge your child's feelings and be there to hold them even though they may not be getting the candy they want. This neediness isn't about getting the object they want, it's about being respected and loved emotionally. Unconditionally.  But if, as a parent, you've never had that kind of love then it's impossible to provide that for your child.  Your shame stems from our parents inability to heal themselves and the pain they carry.  They don't do it maliciously but this is who they are and without healing there is no way to stop it. Each person has their own set of blocked up pain or/and shame so we have to find our own journey to healing. There's always clues because our body/mind ultimately knows what we're hiding.

When a flower sprouts do we look at it and shame it if it's not growing perfectly? Everything is an expression of  life and has a right to thrive. Contrary to some popular religious beliefs you are not born flawed or dirty. There is no judgment in your birth. There is no hierarchy with which to label good or bad, flawed or sinful. You are just an expression of life.

Just because we seem to have more control and power over our reality doesn't mean we are flawed. The sin comes in after our birth and it comes in the way of being afraid of fear and hurt and never healing. Somewhere along the line the pain was so great that we twisted it, hid it and denied it. We carry that on from father/mother to son and daughter. That may be where the Christian idea of original sin comes in. What other life on earth has the ability to twist itself up so much that it's constantly hurting and making an effort not to live?

If we don't ignore that ability of humans to inflict pain on themselves and ultimately lash out at others then we're left with the question of, "how do we really live?"

We can live fully engaged if we heal and accept ourselves, love ourselves and respect ourselves then the  same will be done for others. Any hurt we inflict on someone else is only an expression of our inability to deal with ourselves.

How to do this? How do we heal when we don't even know what it is to heal? Some people are so bound up in their shame that they will not ever be able to separate it from who they are and it will spin that web forever and ever. That actually may be the way things work in a balanced world. Maybe some will never heal and some will and that's the beauty.

If you're reading this you're on the road to healing. You have some awareness of the need. To keep things in balance it is your journey to heal your shame and move with love in the world. If we all do that there would be no war but if that happened then there would be no reason to be here. We would all be in metaphorical heaven and be dead. If we don't have any duality, good, bad, living/dying then we are dead and there is no pain.

While I'm here I'll choose to take the opportunity to engage in this life the way I was born into it, pure, living not shamed, in love. In this way I can help others onto this path and feel I lived a full life in the world. We all have choices. I'll choose to live while I'm here!

I have come to healing my shame through getting in touch with my emotions and my body. Originally I dealt with my shame by cutting off my heart from my head. Integrating the two and  facing my pain instead of running from it has become my vehicle  for healing. As I traverse this winding road I'll post more about my experiences. Now go out and find your journey to yourself! It's painful and exciting and as real as it gets!

by Gary Benson

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