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Shame swamped me, so I did this..

The morning hours are when I have the most clear contact with my inner world. It is when the pain, joy, or stillness is most pronounced.

This morning, shame was filling my inner world with fearful thoughts of inadequacy, judgment about my small level of success compared to my counterparts, and edicts that declared me stupid and forlorn.

I simply didn’t measure up.

I first noticed how “close” this felt within me. When I say close, I mean to say it felt very like a part of me. I was very, very identified with it.

This kind of sensation is the most difficult for me to navigate, as there’s very little space between my adult Self and the injured inward self. It felt like they were one and the same. I was blended with that aspect of myself.

I paused, noticing the intensity of the closeness, what shape it had, and the color and even taste of it. I didn’t even move to acknowledge it outright with a statement. I just sat in the noticing and observing of it as it was.

Flashes of what is about to start next week came to my mind’s eye. “We’re such a failure. We don’t do it big like they do…” the heart-broken voice said with me. “I don’t like me. I never get to be cool or succeed big like others.”

This felt so raw, so honest. It was all right in the light now.

I felt the programming of “building my self-esteem” kick in, trying to show this part other facts and parts and reality.

I almost started acting from it, but paused instead. I wanted to go slower and observe this phenomenon along with maintaining presence with the teenager being the shame.

This brought to me a deep sadness and a sobbing little boy who just wanted to fit in and didn’t understand why he didn’t.

I could sense he didn’t want touch and didn’t want any attempt to be soothed. He just wanted it to be ok that this is what he felt.

I accepted that, smiled at him, and metaphysically sat with him, the teenager, and the panicked adult from my past trying to fix this so we could do what we need to do.

I’m here with them now, just being. I sob a little. I smile a little. I am quiet more.

This is how I love myself. This is how I care for myself. It is how I attempt to care for my kids, my partner, my students and clients. I don’t always do well at it, but even when I fail, I am warm with myself. As much as possible.

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