Panic attacks, stress, and a feeling of unfair treatment can go together and appear unrelated. Depressive thoughts, anger, frustration, a sense of why me or what now... this kind of experience can grip the body and squeeze tears. The sensation can feel overwhelming, like how do I stop the spinning, the downward cycle, the seemingly endless pounding sense of worthlessness.
Shame is a deeply personal experience caused by things outside of us. It is the voice of a parent who wanted 110 percent every time, laughed at us if we didn't get the best in the room. It is the absence of a caretaker for reasons good, bad, and otherwise. It's when someone won't speak with you and you aren't really sure why. Shame is not knowing how to say no, thinking you're saying no, actually saying no and still being forced by an evil you didn't think existed in your life. Shame is molestation, rape, abuse, bully behavior, martyrdom. Shame is when you're naive and mature at the same time and things go wrong and you think they're right at the time. Shame is vulnerability and helplessness and hatred mixed into moments of immobile anxiety and mean thoughts. Shame is cultures that dismiss your value, ignore your contributions, and then say to your face that you need to change because you're the problem.
When we become aware of ourselves and our situations, those around us may diminish our concerns or attempt to talk us into seeing things from their perspective. People might say words that soothe our concerns and then act in ways exactly the opposite of what was discussed. It can feel infuriating to realize we've been had, taken advantage of, tricked, intentionally or unintentionally misguided into actions that penalize our existence.
For those who look for the best in people and life, the realization that all people have an evil in them can seem to shatter balance. This kind of experience can happen multiple times in life. We might think we get it figured out and have a hold on what is real and not real. Such delight in figuring it out! And then... slowly... we realize that this solution, too, needs adjustment. Because we never figure out all of it, but that's not a reason to cease exploration.
It's hard to keep going sometimes, to keep exploring options and believing that they exist. Environments and people and history can combine into a desire to self-harm, an urge to obliterate relationships, thoughts of violence or aggression. This is natural for some minds. Non-violence can be a new concept for these minds, one that requires many experiences, several iterations, numerous shifts. Breath by breath, panic and anxiety can be guided, contained. Patience and nurturing support can help shift shame into accountability and confidence. It won't always be a smooth ride or return the expected, but it's true that we'll get out of it what we put in. May each of us healthfully love, guide, and protect our beings. May we seek and know what this means for us and practice it moment to moment.
Well hello there.