Wednesday, October 22, 2014

come home to Your Self

the best friends

Scotland's burning

Anyone who has raised a child that played a string instrument, those folks have sat through at least several annual recitals at which the new string students play Scotland's Burning.

I have never heard Scotland's Burning played by experienced string players. All I know of the song is the screeching, scratchy, squeaky sounds six and seven year olds pull out of their violins and cellos. Screech out. Squeak squeak.

As one's child advances in musical skill, parents still have to hear the screeching performances of Scotland's Burning. Every string teacher I have known introduced string instruments with Scotland's Burning.

The song goes something like this:  Scotland's burning, Scotland's burning, reach out reach out. I always remember it as 'screech out screech out'.

It is a caterwauling, cacaphonous sound. Yet it is also wonderful. I love listening to little kids struggling, nervous to be performing for the first time. So the screeching squeaks of first-time performances of Scotland's Burning actually sound beautiful to me. It is the sound of learning, stretching. The child reaching within herself to pull out new talent. The struggle to improve. Love. That's what screeching ensemble of embryonic cello players playing Scotland's Burning sounds like to me.

Some parents duck out of such recitals as soon as their children have performed

These recitals can be tedious.  The newbies always play Scotland's Burning, the second year music students always play the same song each year. And so forth.  It is bad form, a social faux pas, to leave before the end. Hey, folks, I listened to your kid's bad string playing. Wait to hear the more advanced students. And your kids need to hear the more skilled players so they know where they are headed.

I love children's musical recitals. I love all the children, developing their will capacity with the discipline of practice and learning. I love all the parents, who are all there for one reason:   love.

I miss hearing Scotland's Burning at least once a year. Reach out!

I am INFJ, not a myers briggs score

I just found this test on FB. I am INFJ (which is close to my Myers Briggs of INFP/J, I think).   Here is what says about their INFJ. They have other tests to take that are fun.


Plato, Mahtma Gandhi, Simone de Beauvoir, Cate Blanchett, Al Pacino, Adrien Brody, David Schwimmer, Sufjan Stevens, George Harrison, Michel Pfeiffer, Carey Mulligan


1.5%  NOTE:  I kinda like being only 1.5% of the population and I kinda don't like it. It's lonely being INFJ in a world that doesn't often get us. But with the big breakthroughs I have been undergoing, maybe things are going to continue to improve. I don't think I am going to internalize pain anymore and that is indescribably huge. We impaths take on others feelings, feel others, even loved ones far far away.  Read about INFJ, if interested.

infj - description

INFJs are kind, mindful, complex and highly intuitive people. This is the most rare personality type of all, only 1 percent of the population has it.

They like to organize their outer world in categories and priorities they never stop redefining. However, they have a great intuition and deal with their inner life very spontaneously. They perceive and understand things very intuitively and are very rarely wrong about their intuitions. This dichotomy between their inner and outer life may result in INFJs being less organized than other Judging types.

Because of their great instincts, INFJs understand people and situations very easily. They often feel when something has happened to some of their friends of family members even if they cannot really explain to themselves how they perceived it. Those strong intuitive capabilities may lead them sometimes to stubbornness and ignoring other people's opinions since they trust their instincts above everything else. This attitude should not be perceived as arrogance as INFJs are perfectionists and think they should always improve themselves and the world around.

INFJs set up a strong value system for themselves and always care about living in accordance with their values and ideals. They are warm and easy going as long as they do not have to compromise their values.

Warm and caring, they hate conflicts and will avoid hurting people. They will generally internalize their anger which can be a source of stress and health problems for them.

In the work place, most INFJs show up in creative and independent positions. They are good at art and sciences where they can use their intuition at best. They are generally bad at dealing with details and prefer working on the big picture.

INFJs are natural nurturers, protective and devoted. They make loving parents and build strong bonds with their children.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

nothing is beyond forgiveness

that's it.

you aint gonna find me: Alabama Shakes


Well, I've been going through the motions
Wonder if anyone can see
That I been looking for something
Have you been looking for me
I ain't the same no more
In fact I have changed from before
No, you ain't gonna find me
Oh no, cause I'm not who I used to be
Well, I used to be a little girl
Just a smiling, feeling free
I wasn't worried bout nobody
Nobody worried bout me
But, I ain't the same no more
You'll find I have changed from before
No, you ain't gonna find me
Cause I ain't who I used to be
I said I'd never grow old
I can't remember how that used to be
I find myself without the power
I find myself without the glory
Listen! I ain't the same no more
You'll find I have changed from before
You ain't gonna find me
Oh no, cause I'm not who I used to be
Oh, no, no, I ain't who I used to be
Oh, no, no, I ain't who I used to be
Oh, no...

I set myself the wrong task

Sometimes, my being breathes with the earth and the spirit imbued in both my being and the earth. Today is such a day.

Yesterday I had a surprising, and surprisingly painful, brief interaction with a neighbor in my building. We intersected paths at the library. She is elderly, African American and has always been unsmiling and unwelcoming of me. I have said hello to her when I ran into her but, truly, did not dare try to say more because she sent off such a 'don't talk to me' vibe.  Her aversion to me never offended me. I have learned, living in a large apartment building with very few whites, predominantly African Americans, with a wonderful mix of immigrants from Iran, Japan, Yemen, Mexico, India, China, Ethiopia, Eritrea and others I am leaving out.

Some of the African Americans seem to unwittingly display racist anger towards me simply because I am white. It has mostly stopped now but for the first couple years I lived here, young black males often stopped me as I waited for the elevator and angrily told me I was a white racist bitch. Never just a white racist. Always a bitch, too.  At first I was startled but I never took it personally. I concluded these young black men, and it has never been black boys  in my building, who have been immaculately courteous to me and any adult I have seen them interact with, were projecting what amounts to some righteous attitude to the dominator culture that suppresses black males, landing about forty percent of them in prison for at least a few years.  I learned to receive accusations that I am a white racist bitch with love. I remain silent. I do not defend myself. Defend myself from what?  I really have been just waiting for the elevator, or riding up in it with the young angry, hurt (I believe) black men.  I send them love. I have been tempted to tell such young black men that I am sorry society treats them so shabbily but they are angry.  I have my own issues and one of them is fear of angry males. I have been hurt very deeply and personally by some angry white males and any male anger directed at me triggers my own wounds.

Anyway, I think, and this is pure guess, that perhaps the young black males who used to regularly denounce me as a white racist bitch had never lived in a building with a few white adults before. And now they have either forgotten about me or, in some way, concluded I am not personally responsible for the injustices they no doubt suffer in complete injustice. I think in the beginning I represented the white dominator culture. And I know I still represent the white dominator culture on the streets.

A couple weeks ago, walking into Walgreens to add some money on my transit card, a young, soft-spoken black man asked me for some money.  The voice making the request was behind me, I was not sure he had addressed me and I just kept going into the store. He had, however, been talking to me and he seemed to take offense that I had ignored him for he rushed up, tapped me on the shoulder and said "I asked you, will you please give me some money?"  I said "No thanks". The thanks leaves me feeling sheepish but I wish to convey good will. I can't afford to give away money. I really can't. Then this young panhandler, well dressed and not homeless appearing, darted ahead of me to get in the long line to buy things. Why is there always a long line at Walgreens?  This was the first time I had ever gone in this store, for I despise Walgreens' corporate values.

This young, high school-age, I think, panhandler seemed to enjoy having rushed to get ahead of me in line. I thought the begging was over.  But it wasn't. He turned to face me and asked again, telling me he wanted money to buy food, that he was hungry. I said "I can't afford to give you food." and when he pressed again I said "I am not going to give you any money."

Then I called over the security guard, also black, and said "Does Walgreens want their customers subjected to panhandling here in the store? Could you ask this guy to leave me be?" The guard said "If you two don't stop fighting, I'll throw you both out." This remark caused a ruffle of indignation to spread in the line. I had not been fighting. Politely declining to give money to a beggar is not fighting, is it?

So then the kid said to me "You say you can't afford to give me money but you are standing in line, so you have money. You buying something."  I said "I am not really buying something. I don't own a car, I need to put money on my clipper card." Then the kid said "I got money. I don't need your money." and he pulled out his wallet to show me some cash, a couple credit cards. He said "I have more than you." And then he left the store.

When he left, several men ahead of me in line spoke out, although, I note, not when the kid was harassing me. One guy with posed bravado said "If that kid is still out front when I am done here, I'm going to kick his ass. A white person is not being a racist just for not giving money to a black panhandler." And a few other men harumphed similar comments.

For some reason, that kid had picked me out to pick on. Does he think older women are a soft mark? Did it anger him that I did not meet his expectations and give him some money?  Who knows?

Now back to the older black woman in my building. I don't think she and I have ever had a conversation beyond saying hello. And I don't think she would say hello to me if I had not carefully greeted her each time I see her. I say no more than "Hello, how are you?" and sometimes just 'Hello' because she gives off such a 'don't you talk to me' vibe. I have believed for five and a half years that this black, older, female neighbor saw me as all white people and she sees all white people as bad racists.  I have believed, and now believe this more than ever, that she sees whites and feels anger, even hate.  I know it is not personal anger or hate, not about me, but she doesn't seem aware that her anger is not really about me.

I have empathy, I do, for this woman.  I know her life in black skin has been different than mine and hard in ways I cannot know.  My life has been hard in ways I won't list here but I have never been shown injustice because of the color of my skin. Well, I have felt a tiny bit of injustice for the color of my skin:  throughout my life, only very occasionally, I have had a black person spew racist hate at me, typically on the street, just for being white. I think I get such venom and I know it's about the system of racism, not about me.  I have felt a light sadness to feel this woman's anger when we only very rarely see one another in the hallway.

Is she angry I haven't talked to her? Has she forgotten that I set out trying to talk to her when we both moved in five and a half years ago, and she always angrly rebuffed me so I fell into the habit of saying hello politely. Even around Berkeley, if I see her, I have said hello.

Yesterday she became angry at me at the library for talking in the library. Everyone talks in the library but I said "I am sorry my talking disturbed you but". Then she got me off and said "Stop right there, you white person. You white and think you always have something to say. I said my piece now you shut up." I said "You said your piece, let me say mine." She said "You think you something cause ou white."  Before I could answer, a security guard stepped in and said if we didn't stop fighting, he'd kick us both out. She, still speaking angrily and flashing fury at me with her eyes, said "I said my piece." I said "Yeah, she said her piece but won't allow me to speak and now you won't let me respond to her, you say you'll kick me out if I speak." The security guard invited me to go outside with the angry neighbor of mine and say my piece. Before I could respond she hissed "She won't go outside. She afraid of me and she should be."  (I laugh now, she is feeble but she was not so subtly threatening t hurt me if I followed her out to say my piece and she clearly savored the fact that she got her 'piece' in and had shut me down.) I said "No I won't follow you but not because I am afraid. I don't want to lose my computer reservation." And then the guard escorted her out, I got on my reserved computer.

But the exchange bruised me. The bruise kept pinching all day and into today.

I was so hurt and confused by this woman's anger towards me, even what felt like hate, that I stopped to ask my property manager if she had any awareness of me misbehaving in the building, if she had heard any tales of me mistreating others.  What goes on at the library is beyond the scope of our property manager but I thought she might offer me some insigh tinto how this angry woman perceives me. To my surprise, the angry lady at the library had talked to my property manager about her frustration at the library the day before, not about me but her frustration with the computer. My prop manager suggested maybe I had said things this other woman didn't like at community meetings but I have never seen this woman at a community meeting and I rarely go to them myself. The 'community meetings' only seem focussed on doing things for kids and I have no kids. Get this. Now the community group, all women, is doing a brunch for the building's men. I cannot buy into a culture that adopts such servile, kiss up to men, attitudes. I get providing good programming for kids but a brunch for men, none of whom have ever darkened the door of a community meeting?  Kissing men's ass is what I see, although I have not voiced this thought until I wrote it just now so that can't be why this old lady doesn't like me.

She doesn't like me because I am white.  I told her, at the library, that her comments about me were racist and she took no offense, as if she agreed, although she clearly believed her racist assessment of me was merited and so not really racist, just real.

And what was I talking about to another library patron while we waited to use computers? The black man I have worked tirelessly since July to get elected to the state assembly. Not exactly your stereotypical behavior for a white racist bitch.


The interaction at the library weighed on me so I stopped in to talk to my property manager, who is also black and with whom I have a comfortable relationship. She said she knew the woman I was talking about had been upset about her inabililty to figure out the computer, that the woman had a bad day but the woman had not mentioned me. She said she's never heard anyone complain about me in the building. And then she said "But you do have a spice about you. You are bright, well spoken and you have spice. that might put off people who aren't used to speaking up. You always seem at ease with yourself and unafraid to speak."  I love my property manager.

I have another difficult relationship with another older black female neighbor and she has actually said to me that I always have something to say. So does she but she made it clear that what I say botheres her whereas she assumes what she has to say is worth saying. She and I have agreed not to speak. The last time we spoke, perhaps two years ago, we were riding up the elevator and she started talking. I have never had an easy time with this woman so I was silent until she brought up her mail from the housing authority. Seeing her talk as an invitation to converse, I began to tell her about my equivalent letter I had recently gotten from the housing authority. She exploded. She said "you always do this, you always think people want to hear what you think and you tell them."  Again I was hurt and said nothing, although I was casting about in my head for something to say. What does one say after someone tells them I am wrong to think anyone wants to hear what I want to say?  I did think of saying, but dared not say it, "Do you think your comment about your letter from the housing people is interesting, more interseting than whatever I had to say about my identical letter?" but I stayed miserably silent as we rode up, with the other woman scolding me, insulting me all the way up. This woman lives next door to me so we get off on the sixth floor together.

As we exited the elevator I said "I get it. You don't like me. I won't talk to you anymore. Not a problem. I get it." She kept on berating me, insulting me. Generalized insults, not referring to any specific thing I had said. She was all worked up and I was calm, just trying to keep quiet until I got to my door. The two of us walking side by side, coming to my door first.

After a few more moments of her insults I repeated "I get it, Marcela, you don't like to hear me talk so I won't talk to you anymore. I get it. I'll leave you alone."  I repeated myself because she was almost shouting and continuing to heap insults on me.

Finally, with two polite attempts to stop her attack I said "Shut the fuck up, Marcela. I said I won't talk to you again so just stop talking to me." And she still kept talking.

So I said one more time, loudly, "Shut the fuck up. I said I won't talk to you so stop talking to me." And then I was at my door, able to escape her.

I can't quantify this but I think the stress with both of these women is race related. I think they see their people's oppression in many, if not most, white people. And I am spicy. Or assertive. I do assume I have a right to talk. And if some blacks in this culture don't feel they have a right to assume they can talk, I have little understanding of such an experience.

Here was the lovely gift for me in the library quarrel. It really did weigh on me. I actually felt like I had a huge, dark purple bruise on my side, almost as a rib or two were broken. I carried that woman's anger yestereday afternoon, evening and then again today.

When I went out for my daily five mile walk, at some point, I realized something about myself. I realized the pain I was feeling was that woman's pain. This is a huge insight about myself. When I still saw myself as a borderline, which, praise goddess, I no longer do (thanks to you, Marc, thanks to the unkind things you said about me being such a borderline -- your unkind words liberated me from a huge burden and I will love you forever -- I know you aren't reading this but I have no other way to thank you so I thank you here).

Pretty much all my life, I have felt and then taken on others' pain. I wasn't feeling borderline pain. I am a high empath and I feel others' pain. That angry woman at the library, my neighbor, was hurting about something and offloaded her pain onto me and there I was, hauling it around as my burden like Sisyphus and his stone.

Crossing Shattuck on my way home this afternoon, I realized that most of the emotional pain I feel is others and I take it on as mine. Angry and abusive people are attracted to me because they intuit that I am a paincatcher.

I don't want to be a paincatcher for any pain but my own, which I happily endure.  I'm done holding others pain. And I am steadily becoming ever more mindful of what is mine and what is something I picked up from another's energy. I realized today, in one of those epiphany moments, that most of the pain I feel is others' pain. My friend Maggie tried to tell me this years ago but these are the kinds of lessons we each have to work through on our own, I think.  Now when I become aware of feeling pain, my thoughts will go to the other person and I will empathically wonder what is going on with them and do my best to be kind and loving.

A psychic in Santa Rosa told me, in the mid-nineties, that whenever I am in a group of people, I am attracted to get near to the person in the most pain and then I hold their pain. A paincatcher. A high empath.

As I crossed Shattuck, and maybe this particular patch of Shattuck is a special vortex because I had another important shift and insight crossing the exact patch of street a couple years ago, an insight about loving around impediments, I realized I will never again take on others pain. I can live more lightly, more happily.  I felt lighter instantly. And this is not a temporary shift.

That mean old lady in the library was in pain and unhappy and she passed off her pain onto me. She was so upset about being unable to figure out the computer that she was blind.

I never got to tell her my 'but'. I said "I am sorry but. . . ."  I was going to say 'but if you are having a problem figuring something out on the computer, I might be able to help you." My offer to help would have gone beyond her library reservation. This building has a whole computer room open a few hours, several days a week. My but was going to be an offer to help her.

I didn't do anything wrong. Well, I did something wrong. I allowed her pain to infect me.

From now on, when I begin to feel pain as I interact with someone, I am going to ask myself "is this mine or theirs?"  I think most times the pain I am holding is someone else's pain and I hurt myself by doing this. I'm done.

I'm sorry for the two black women who see something wrong with me. I'm sorry they don't like me. I'm sorry they can't see their own racism.

But I am happy that I am done taking on their shit.

the work of the world's heart, by Alison Luterman

I've posted this poem before but it is floating through me today so here it is again:

Invisible Work

Because no one could ever praise me enough,
because I don't mean these poems only
but the unseen
unbelievable effort it takes to live
the life that goes on between them,
I think all the time about invisible work.
About the young mother on Welfare
I interviewed years ago,
who said, "It's hard.
You bring him to the park,
run rings around yourself keeping him safe,
cut hot dogs into bite-sized pieces fro dinner,
and there's no one
to say what a good job you're doing,
how you were patient and loving
for the thousandth time even though you had a headache."
And I, who am used to feeling sorry for myself
because I am lonely,
when all the while,
as the Chippewa poem says, I am being carried
by great winds across the sky,
thought of the invisible work that stitches up the world day and night,
the slow, unglamorous work of healing,
the way worms in the garden
tunnel ceaselessly so the earth can breathe
and bees ransack this world into being,
while owls and poets stalk shadows,
our loneliest labors under the moon.

There are mothers
for everything, and the sea
is a mother too,
whispering and whispering to us
long after we have stopped listening.
I stopped and let myself lean
a moment, against the blue
shoulder of the air. The work
of my heart
is the work of the world's heart.
There is no other art.

"you don't own me" vote to own female power

Google "you don't own me PSA" to view the great smash up of Leslie Gore's "You don't own me". The video intersperses all the shit conservatives have been doing to repress women and advocate for women to own their power, especially by voting.  I couldn't get the vimeo video to post on this blog. It's worth a view.

Vote vote vote.

You don't own me
I'm not just one of your many toys
You don't own me
Don't say I can't go with other boys
And don't tell me what to do
Don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don't put me on display 'cause
You don't own me
Don't try to change me in any way
You don't own me
Don't tie me down 'cause I'd never stay
I don't tell you what to say
I don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you
I'm young and I love to be young
I'm free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please
And don't tell me what to do
Oh, don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don't put me on display
I don't tell you what to say
Oh, don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you
I'm young and I love to be young
I'm free and I love to be free
To live

on aging

As long as we rock, we won't grow old . . . . right?  Nah, just having a laugh.

Never forget. . . .Dr. Cornel West

the perks of being a wallflower

We accept the love we think we deserve.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Monday, October 20, 2014

great article on anger

Anger can be a Cover Up
for Guilt, Shame and Vulnerability

Lynne Namka, Ed. D. © 2002
Share Button

Anger is a normal emotion that we all have. Humans have had anger since the caveman days, and it is necessary for our survival as a species. Anger, as an emotion, is neither good nor bad, it is just a feeling. Anger, as a response or a behavior, however, can cause all kinds of havoc both in the person who expresses it inappropriately and those to whom it is directed. Or it can be used as an energy to set things right. Anger is extremely complex; that is why very few people have the skills to express it directly and safely. No one really understood how anger worked until recently. Very few people, in the past, knew helpful ways of expressing anger.
Our parents probably didn't know how to release anger appropriately. They most likely blew out angry feelings on others or stuffed them down inside and gave you the message, "Don't get angry." You learned your ways of "doing" anger from your parents and peers. Your parents learned their ways of "doing" anger from their parents and so on back it goes to past generations.
Feeling that accompany being threatened by someone else can trigger anger. A good use of anger is that it gets you to feel so strongly about an injustice that you will try to correct it. Justifiable anger is a way you stand up for yourself when someone threatens you. The threat can be to your physical body or your property. Mostly anger in adults comes up when your self-esteem or your values are threatened.
Healthy anger gives people momentum to produce necessary change. It can get you to leave a bad situation. Anger, appropriately used, can create social change. Healthy anger can be constructive in making a difference in a situation. (See my book, How to Let Go of Your Mad Baggage for this type of healthy anger.)
Unhealthy Anger
One form of unwholesome anger has to do with unrealistic expectations that are not met. And expectations can be sensible and practical or unreal and with not basis in reality. Expectations are, after all, only what you expect, not tried and true outcomes that will automatically happen just because you wish them to. This is where unhealthy anger comes in. People expect things that are not based in reality, and then get angry when their expectations are not met. Some people feel entitled to get something when there is no practical reason why they should get it. See my article on the Angries Out web page for "Children of Entitlement" and "The Right Man, Right Woman Theory" for this kind on entitlement anger.
Another from of unhealthy type is anger that comes up when you refuse to take responsibility for what you have done wrong. This is anger based on trying to avoid feeling guilt and shame. Shame is a fear-based internal state of feeling unprotected, vulnerable and defenseless. Shame holds the horrifying beliefs of being unworthy and unlovable. Shame conjures up intense painful feelings of mortification due to a fear of being seen as inadequate.
Shame feelings are a threat to the integrity of the self. Unbearable feelings of shame keep you caught in fear of being found out by others. When you are held prisoner by shame, the perceived deficits within yourself are so humiliating that you will go to extreme lengths to hide the flawed self. Like screaming in rage at another person to get them to back off!
Anger can be substituted when you feel guilty and cannot own up to what you have done. Anger can be substituted to avoid the more painful feelings of embarrassment and humiliation. Anger can be "used" to shut down the internal bad feelings of vulnerability and helplessness, as anger is a more comfortable emotion to feel. And it works! Anger can also be "used" to intimidate and force the other person to back off and stop their criticism.
Anger then becomes the prevalent emotion used to avoid feeling bad inside. The habit of shielding your self with the anger defense becomes a learned behavior of self-protection. Anger becomes entrenched as a protective device and you have trouble giving it up. Anger can work to protect you against threat temporarily. But it creates more shame because on some level you recognize that what you are doing is unacceptable. The guilt and shame of habitually angry people keeps growing because they circumvent the bad feelings instead of dealing with them honestly.
Feeling Threatened, Covering It Up with Anger and Projecting It on Someone Else
Anger, and the need to look good to protect the fragile self-esteem, is the basis of macho behavior, bullying and aggression. Denial, repression, projection, and blaming others are defense mechanisms, which help you try to avoid feeling guilt and shame. Blaming another person instead of looking at your own part of the problem is called projection‹you spot it, you got it!
Judgments, criticisms and labels all function to isolate us from others. Our attempts to project our own painful elements onto other people interrupt the growth process of both the sender and the receiver. Judgment, being an either/or process, divides and separates us from others, God or our sense of wholeness.
Projections are a defensive mechanism where we ignore what we do not like about ourselves and become upset about that same trait in another. They are the disowned aspect of our personality. Blaming others protect us through distractions and help keep a lid on the terror that knowledge of our dark side might provoke.
Projections protect us by keeping a lid on the terror that knowledge of our negative qualities might provoke. You project your own guilt and anger on to others when you judge and label the other person's actions instead of just observing or witnessing them. Carl Jung believed that the projection defense functions like a mirror between the ego and the unconsciousness personality. The negative characteristic that has been disowned which has been tying up psychic energy in the ego will be reflected in the person's daily experience.
What you resist, persists. Projections are warning signals that something is unresolved in your self. Carl Jung said that if you do not know and own the darker aspects of your self, you will project your own negative repressed elements on other people.
The intensity of your anger and projection is a function of one or more of:
  • 1.The size of the negative part inside yourself,
  • 2. The amount of the denial that you have about this trait in yourself,
  • 3. The need of your soul to work out this projection, judgment and criticism.
Harsh Criticism, Rejection, Humiliation and Bullying Create Shame-Based Defenses
Unkind, critical parental behavior produces shame-prone children who then criticize themselves and others. Often perfectionism is passed from generation to generation and not measuring up to the unrealistic standards of others. Parental withdrawal, rejection or favoritism of a sibling causes shame and deep fears of abandonment.
Shame is based on rejection. Parental high expectations of behavior, criticism and disapproval for failure create shame. Parental humiliation and punishment for failure or for distress or crying creates the need to hide vulnerability. When a parent rejects their offspring, the child learns to reject the wonderful aspects of himself. Shame feelings are created when there is a betrayal by other people and a broken trust through expressing harsh disapproval. The scolded and rejected child believes that he must be really bad or his parents would love him.
Bullying by peers or adults creates a sense of helplessness in the child and he feels ashamed. The frightened and rejected child believes that he must be flawed or his classmates would accept and like him.
The trauma of physical and sexual abuse imprints major feelings of being devalued and unworthy in the victim. The energy of shame of others is contagious and can be passed from one individual to another. Children who are sexually abused usually absorb some of the shame of the person who abused them.
Violation of societies' values around sexual and aggressive behavior can create guilt and shame. Engaging in behaviors that society frowns upon creates more shame. You add guilt and shame to yourself when you act in inappropriate behavior, which results in public humiliation. Worrying what others think, fears of public failure and social disapproval lead to added fears of rejection and shame. Engaging in excessive use of alcohol, substances and addictive behavior may be an indicator of shame. Engaging in excessive use of alcohol, substances and addictive behavior creates more guilt and shame and amplifies a vicious cycle.
Guilt says "I Did Something Bad."
Guilt is a feeling that you did something wrong. Guilt comes to you from your conscience, which tells you that you are not living up to your values. Guilt says, "I did something bad. I was wrong. I must pay." Guilt is about actions that have hurt yourself or others. It is situation specific and related to your misbehavior. Your guilt then sets about to punish you. The guilt serves as personal punishment for the undesirable behavior. Guilty feelings can be helpful in the sense that they help us to put on the brakes on behaviors we would regret later.
Sometimes you will hang on to guilt long after the situation has passed. Hang-on guilt remains because you do not know how to release it. Guilt for acts committed in childhood can cause a reservoir of negative emotions to be stored in the body resulting in curbing of healthy assertive behavior. This kind of guilt is sometimes at the bottom of co-dependency.
There is another type of unhealthy guilt where we feel that we are the cause of something not because of wrongdoing but because of underlying feelings of worthlessness. This pseudo-guilt inadvertently is passed down in families when a parent acted like a martyr (Why did I get such a child? You will be the death of me.) or used discipline techniques of shaming and blaming the child (You are stupid. Dummy!) The child, being vulnerable, absorbs the negative energy of the abuser and internalizes the negative labels as being true. (I am dumb because my father called me dumb when I knocked the glass of milk over.)
Shame says "I Am Bad."
Shame is about the flawed self. Shame says, "I am bad." Feeling ashamed is always about the global self-esteem and how you totally feel about yourself. The shame core builds up with many events of guilt. Fears of being different and looked down upon by others are common causes of guilt and shame. Guilt and shame build up across time and lead to the global belief of "I am unworthy. I am unlovable."
One of the most insidious fears is that other people will find out how bad we really are and reject us. We focus too keenly on being judged by others and live in fear of what will other people think. The core beliefs of the person caught in guilt and shame is "I am bad. I must hide my badness to avoid further humiliation and rejection for others. I must reject and control my bad behavior. I cannot trust myself to refrain from this behavior. I must hide it even from myself. God rejects and punishes badness." Much personal energy is used up in dealing with the fear that we will be found out that we are a sham. The shame that surrounds fear about being different from our peers and being rejected or teased for it can affect personal growth and normal risk taking by tying up psychic energy.
Repressed shame and guilt cause a lack of trust of others and a deep breach or separation from your real self. At some point in an individual's life, the old defenses to protect yourself against guilt and shame no longer work. Shame can come up big time. The person's life crashes around him. Hitting bottom with an addiction, depression or anxiety may prompt you to seek help to deal with the uncomfortable feelings inside.
Shame can define and shape who you are in negative ways that you cannot even comprehend. Feelings of guilt and shame cause you to hide behind defenses of denial and resulting anger when you feel threatened. Other defenses against feeling shame include macho behavior, intellectualization and shutting down feelings. Controlling, blaming, criticizing or feeling superior to others are common defenses in people who are typically angry.
Patterns of dysfunctional behavior in a person's life usually indicate a strong internal shame core. Lack of intimacy and connection to others indicates a lack of trust. Shame shuts you down. An excess of shame can lead to a fear of taking risks and an unfulfilled life. Repressed shame leads to substituting more acceptable emotions such as anger, depression and anxiety to reduce the internal tension. Some people turn to addictions as a way to temporarily keep the feelings of guilt and shame down. This works only for a short time, and adds more guilt and shame to the person.
Guilt and shame about a behavior one considers inappropriate, either past or present, can lead to repression and denial as a means to try to control the bad behavior. We may think the behavior and belief are no longer present until an upsetting event pops it out again. These two negative emotions carry a certain vibration or energy that become stored producing a blockage in the person's energy flow. Guilt and shame result in deep fears of rejection and separation from others. Yet the basis of these strong emotions is a rejection in a part of the self and separation from God.
And if you do not have feel guilt and shame when you hurt other people, that is a different problem altogether. If you cannot identify with the ideas in this article and are looking for ways to deal with your anger, start reading in the field of narcissism.
The Paradox of Guilt and Shame
Typically the human response to guilt and shame is to increase the energy around these behaviors by resisting them and judging our self to be bad. Giving energy to shame makes it persist. The result is that the negative feelings do not dissipate but remain stored away in the body until we find a way to forgive our self.
We all have bits of behavior that are dark. That doesn't mean that we are evil or bad, but that we merely are human. One purpose of the negative emotions is to help us look at some aspect of ourselves that is incongruent with our deepest values and understanding of what it means to be human. Symptoms such as guilt, shame and resulting anger are merely the indicator lights of your body that something needs an adjustment. Negative symptoms show you where your life is out of balance. They give you a place to start doing some detective work on yourself.
Taking responsibility for your misbehavior and saying, "I am sorry" to the person you have hurt is the process of making amends and release guilt. Or you can write a letter of apology. Making an apology is a necessary step in releasing guilt for past and current misbehavior. (See I'm Sorry I Hurt Someone on the Angries Out web page.)
The pain that underlies the guilt and shame comes from belief that the event was harmful to the person. The person has the belief of "I am not safe. I can be hurt because I am bad. My physical body, my self esteem, my property or my values can be damaged." While it is true that your body, reputation and property can be hurt, the core essence of you cannot be destroyed. The negative feelings of being harmed and that you survived the traumatic experience. Beliefs about not being safe and beliefs about yourself as being unworthy can be changed, no matter what has happened to you.
Shame and guilt cause a deep breach or separation from the real self. The paradox of the emotions of guilt and shame is that these two base emotions keep the person from knowing that he is love and yet the solution to release them is to know that "I am love." Forgiveness and the firm resolution to stop harmful behavior is the answer to releasing guilt and shame.
Shame Shapes Negative Symptoms But It is also the Way Home
One purpose of the negative emotion is to help us look at those aspects of our self that are incongruent with our deepest values and understand of what it means to be human from a soul level. The anxiety around the painful past can be touched into and moved through.
The shame reduction work must be experiential; it cannot be released on an intellectual level. Laughter about one's former predicament can shift shame energies. The original feelings where shame first came up can be brought forward and examined to allow a shift. Shame can be released thorough confession and processing the original painful experiences. The repressed, uncomfortable feeling can be accessed and worked through to release the shame energies. You can get underneath the anger that hides the guilt and shame to find feelings of hurt, sadness, vulnerability and a fear of being rejected and abandoned. When these feelings are exorcised, there will be less shame.
Understand that the person who verbally, physically or sexually abused you had poor self esteem issues of their own that they were trying to throw on you. Critical parents felt bad about themselves and in their frustration in not knowing how to release shame, passed it on and projected it onto the child. You can learn to identify their shame in you and know that you do not have to hang on to it. Most good therapists know techniques to do this release work.
You can learn to detach and become an observer of your own internal states of guilt and shame. You can learn to become a detective on your own emotions and behavior to catch and break into feelings of guilt and shame. You can learn not to shut down the painful feelings or distract them with anger, but to stay present and learn from them.
Understanding how shame works helps release it. The cleaning out of the global belief of "I am bad" takes time and exploration. Mild shame might be processed and released on your own using these ideas. If you try to let it go on your own, but cannot, you will need professional help. Deep guilt and shame are best done with a therapist who understands the process of shame release and can stay present with unconditional love.
You can work through core negative beliefs such "I am a bad person. I am not safe. I will be rejected because I am unworthy. I will be abandoned." if you are willing to stop doing destructive behavior. The paradox of the base emotions of guilt and shame keep you from knowing that you are love and yet the solution to releasing these emotions is to get to the place of knowing "I am love." Feelings of vulnerability and shame can be the Soul's way of saying, "Look at this. These feelings are not who you are." Meditation and prayer help release shame, as shame is a tool of the Soul to get you to wake up.
When shame release work is combined in therapy with learning to speak up and say no, to state boundaries and to share feelings, self-esteem zooms upward. The opposite of guilt and shame is to accept yourself with all your human flaws and decide to not do any behaviors that create more disturbing emotions.
We are more than our physical body and we are more than our thoughts of shame. When you understand that what happened was merely a painful situation, which you made judgments about the unworthiness about your self, you can let the self-condemnation messages and bad feelings go. When you perceive that what happened was an opportunity for growth, then perhaps you can reframe the situation. No easy task, but there it is.
The truth is that you are a beautiful person who was shamed as a child, and your mind and body incorporated that shame. You need not let feelings of unworthiness shape your life in negative ways. You are more than your physical body. You are much, much more than your painful emotions. You are essence longing to return to your true self. Shame asks you to get to the lies underneath that you are unworthy and unlovable. Use your guilt as an opportunity to stop doing things not in accordance with your conscience. Then, having cleaned up your life, address the lies of being unworthy that shame has foisted upon you.
You can put yourself in a space of love and light and hold the bad feelings up for examination. Your Higher Power and the integrity can help give you a different understanding of the early painful experiences that caused shame. Turning the shame over to something greater than oneself, such as God, can help negate those global beliefs of unworthiness.

here is link to this wise woman's blog:

my heart, poem by Billy Collins

Thanks to Marc Tognotti for gifting me, years ago, "Sailing Alone Around the Room", collected and new poems (at the time the book was published) by former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins. Marc might be as special as Billy. It sure was special that he introduced me to Billy Collins work, another Celt like me!  My ancestry is Celtic and so is Billy's. Billy's poetic sensibility reads like I am reading myself. So 'ta, Marc. Here's the poem, "My Heart"

It has a bronze covering inlaid with silver,
originally gilt;
the sides are decorated with openwork zommorphic
panels depicting events in the history
of an unknown religion.
The convoluted top piece shows a high
level of relief articulation
as do the interworked spirals at the edge.

It was presumably carried in the house-shaped
reliquary alongside it, an object of exceptional
ornament, one of the few such pieces extant.
The handle, worn smooth, indicates its use
of a sacrificial nature.

It is engirdled with an inventive example
of gold interlacing, no doubt of Celtic influence.
Previously thought to be a pre-Carolingian work,
it is now considered to be of more recent provenance,
probably the early 1940s.

The ball at the center, visible
through the interstices of the lead webbing
and the elaborate copper grillwork,
is composed possibly of jelly
or an early version of water,
certainly a liquid, remarkably suspended
within the intricate craftsmenship of its encasement.

Now, me writing again:  like Billy's heart, my inner heart is composed possibly of jelly or even an early version of delicate water and needs the encasement of copper and silver grillwork to protect it.  I love my tender vulnerableness. I regret my fear, which sometimes triggers me into acting from fear. I fear my tender heart is threatened and I go mean.

I don't think I will ever go mean again. As I have adjusted to the deep pain of some loss, I have grown more and more and more tender. And my protective grillwork grows more beautiful. I am kinder. I am nicer.

Something happened today. Like a falling star, only not a beautiful one, someone lashed out at me in anger and unkindness. It hurt. But only for a few seconds. Then I sent this person love, reminded myself goddess loves this person, that the person is a creature of love just like me, in pain and mistakenly attributing their pain to my innocent comment. I had to shake off the hurt but I found loving the person who had lashed out at me soothing. Sending love when hurt has the nice (paradoxical? hmm. . .) effect of allowing me to feel tender, more loving. Is this gobbledegook?  I am happy.  I write gobbledegook when blissful?

I am proud of my lovely, tender, loving self.

climate change

A friend who wrote the early drafts of the legislation adopted by CA then overruled by EPA to set aggressive carbon limits and to try to slow down climate change -- this friend has spent over 20 years, so far, studying global warming. in 2006, as he and  took a walk around Lake Merritt, he teared up as he told me that even if humans started doing everything right to stop drastic climate change in 2006, it was already too late.

I believe in miracles, great leaps of both faith and technology. The leap I believe we need most is unconditional love and sharing the wealth of our commons, planet Earth.  As long as we have situations like cops routinely killing blacks, we have not evolved to the consciousness that will allow us to save the earth.

And maybe we aren't supposed to save the earth. Maybe, like dinosaurs, we're supposed to become extinct and some new life forms will emerge.

Maybe.  I have hopes. I have fears.

This article from does not tell me things I did not already know.


Think about this:  we have exterminated at least 50 percent of all the animals on this planet. Why do humans think they can survive when animals cannot? Why do we think it okay to destroy the earath?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A man sees in the world ... Goethe quote

A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart,.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

a woman's heart--MAYA ANGELOU

A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.
Maya Angelou

Find me. My heart is hidden in Love/God.  Come join me.

feeling bliss as my day begins, Aristotle, Tognotti, billy collins

color me blissful

I am not very adept on this ipad so I suggest anyone reading this post google Emily Dickinson on poems about happiness. She wrote many. I appreciate her work more and more. and there is always Billy Collins, former national poet laureate:

On Aristotle by Billy -- not quite happiness but reading and typing this poem is happiness for me. Hat tip to Marc Tognotti who gifted me the book of Billy Collins poems I am typing from. I have since bought other Collins' work but treasure this one because I treasure my lost friend Marc.

On Aristotle

This is the beginning
Almost anything can happen
This is where you find
the creation of light, a fish wriggling onto land,
the first word of Paradise Lost on an empty page,
Think of an egg, or the letter 'A;
a woman ironing on a bare stage
as the heavy curtain rises
This is the very beginning
The first person narrator introduces himself,
tells us about his lineage.
The mezzo-soprano stands in the wings
Here the climbers are studying a map
or pulling on their long woolen socks
This is early ion, years before the Ark, dawn,
The profile of an animal is being smeared
on the all of a cave,
and you have not yet learned to crawl,
This is the opening, the gambit,
a pawn moving forward an inch.
This is your first night with her,
your first night without her,
This is the first part
where the wheels begin to turn,
where the elevator begins its ascent,
before the doors lurch apart.

This is the middle.
Things have had time to get complicated
messy, really. Nothing is simple anymore.
Cities have sprouted up along the rivers

teaming with people at cross purposes
a million schemes, a million wild looks.
Disappointment  unshoulders  his knapsack
here and pitches his ragged tent.
This is the sticky part where the plot congeals
where the actions suddenly reverses
or swerves off in an outrageous direction
Here the narrator devotes a long paragraph
to why Miriam does not want Edwards child
Someone hides a letter under a pillow
Here the aria  arises to a pitch
a song of betrayal salted with revenge
and the climbing party is stuck on a ledge
halfway up the mountain
This is the bridge, the painful modulations
this is the thick of things
so much is crowded into the middle
the guitars of Spain, piles of ripe avocados
Russian uniforms, noisy parties
lakeside kisses, arguments heard through walls
too much to name too much to think about

And this is the end
the car running out of road
the river losing its name in an ocean
the long nose of the photographed horse
touching the white electric line
this is the colophon, the last elephant  in the parade,
the empty wheelchair
and pigeons floating down in the evening
and the stage is littered with bodies,

the narrator leads the characters to their cells,
and the climbers are in their graves.
It is me hitting the period
and you closing the book,
It is Sylvia Plath in the kitchen
and St. Clement with an anchor around his neck,
This is the final bit
thinning away to nothing.
This is the end, according to Aristotle,
what we have all been waiting for,
what everything comes down to,
the destination we cannot help imagining
a streak of light in the sky
a hat on a peg, and outside the cabin, falling leaves

thanks Marc. I love you, I love this long-ago gift from you and I like aristotle.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

home is wherever I am with you

I like the band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.Here's the song on youtube. I love this song and this group. I hear they have a new album coming out, as do the Alabama Shakes, another young band I love.
some of the lyrics from memory, with the melody and beat pumping in my thoughts and feelings:
"Home, I'm coming home
Home is wherever I am with you
Me oh my and pumpkin pie
Home is wherever I am with you"

There's lots more but the song matches my happiness. .  home, I'm coming home.

Home to happiness. Me oh my.

color me happy

I had a great day. A really really great day.

And there's always tomorrow, with high chance that today's greatness will either be repeated or exceeded.

People are wonderful. I am wonderful. The world and universe is wonderfully awesome. So am I.


Golden tunnel, eh?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

have you known this magic?

Have you ever felt happy, contented, even joyful just being in the presence of someone you love?  That's part of my experience in the golden tunnel. In the GT, I am joyful to be with anyone. Even when not in the GB, there are a few people on this planet whose presence near mine just makes me very happy. Troubles melt like lemon drops and all I know is bliss near these people.  And the people I am thinking of has severed all ties to me.
I am worn out with my losses.  But it is lovely remembering the bliss I have known and to reassure myself I will know it again. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

things you can't recover

 From  Mentor Channel on FB

they love you just as you are

If someone really loves you, they love you just as you are. Their love is not dependent on whether you get a tummy tuck, wear their favorite outfit, do a perfect downward dog. Their love is not conditional on whether you meet their every need, their every whim, their every fantasy. Their love is not contingent on your working on your issues, changing your lifestyle, transforming your personality. If they really love you, they hold you in the highest light. If they really love you, they are too busy giving to you to notice petty details. If they really love you, they see divinity when they look your way. And the divine is not in need of improvement before s(he) is loved!
I see divinity when I look upon those I love. I see radiance. Everyone I love glows for me and when I am with them, I have no memory of any past tension. I am only dazzled by their radiance.

I guess Jeff Brown is a new guru. I keep finding quotes from him. I guess he writes books and is an emergent guru, eh? Building a guru business on talking about universal love. Not too shabby.

Money not a law of nature

Post Growth Institute
A new money system can address today’s big problems.
Find out how our current money system is at the root of high debt, inequality, and unaffordable house prices, how it contributes to environmental destruction and accelerated resource consumption, and how we can fix it: