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Tag: guilt

Is Ancient Shame Holding You Back?

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

Shame that’s hidden from view is still shame that holds us back.

Mainly from love – giving and receiving.

We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of right?

Cast your mind back to childhood and I’m sure you’ll find something – a lie, a theft, a blurted nasty comment, classroom cheating, betrayal of a friend….

Ringing any bells?

More than twenty years ago I betrayed the man I had made marriage vows with not much more than a year earlier.

I left him for someone else.

I knew then as I know now, it was for the best.

I still hated myself for the pain I caused. I wished it could have been different – sort of.

It was exactly what it was and maybe the only way it could have been after nine years of familiarity and habit.

It did it because I’d been thrown a lifeline and I wanted to live – gawd that sounds dramatic.  I wasn’t in any physical danger.  It was just that I felt like I was sinking.

It wasn’t his fault. We’d just created something that wasn’t very happy.  The dynamic was all wrong and I suddenly saw it for what it had become;  we were like brother and sister.

I wanted more and I felt trapped with what we were capable of.  I began to harden up, toughen my outlook.  I set my jaw and steeled my gaze.

I guess I thought I could manage it okay if I changed myself enough. I held my breath.

And then I saw him at the party.  My husband was outside chatting with someone.  I walked inside and there sitting with an empty chair beside him, was a person I’d always wondered about.

I sat down and before I knew it I’d said, “I still have feelings for you.”

“But you’re married”, he said.  “I was at your wedding”, he said.

“I know”.

We both leaned forward, heads in our hands and smiled silly, hopeless sort of smiles.

Weeks went by and I told myself that was that. Nothing could happen.

Coincidentally, he worked at the university where I was studying. We met up a few times in the campus grounds after my lectures. Sat on hard benches and talked as the sun went down.

I persisted that it was pointless as I wasn’t about to leave my marriage. I said, I couldn’t bear to go through that.

He gently said, “You wouldn’t be sitting here talking to me if you were happy.”

Then a few weeks later he flew to England for a planned six month stay.

Just before he left, my husband worked out something was up.

One week later I moved out.

Life went on. I kept studying and working, friends chose camps, my parents were very supportive, I never saw my in-laws again.

It wasn’t easy but I had this little voice inside that I’d ignored years earlier when I was confused about love.  It whispered; stay strong, keep going, this is temporary, you’re doing fine.

My new flame came home and we moved in together. Four years later we got married.  You know the rest….kids, jobs, studies, homes, holidays, change, challenges, a move to the country and suddenly we’re middle-aged.

Up until last week I thought I was over this part of my story.  I’d done the counselling, read the books, been healed by experts, become a healer myself, gotten it all straight in my mind and reached a level of peace about it.

The Australian Bush Flower Essence – wedding bush supports us in being committed to any aspect of life.

But in truth I’m still holding it against myself.  I’m still ashamed of what I did and only I can resolve that. And resolve it I will because what I’ve realised is that this shame is stopping me from having the quality and depth of love I want in my relationship with not only my husband but with all the important people in my life.

So how?  This is what I feel:

  • Put my hands on my heart and love myself a little more
  • Feel into my soul, trust in the wisdom I followed and know that it was my best choice at the time
  • Grow into stronger compassion for the 24 year-old me who was simply saving herself
  • Give thanks to the universe for giving me the courage to step forward onto that new path and risk losing everyone’s love in the process.

All these old fragmented, hidden parts of ourselves don’t really need to be released or healed….they need to be integrated into the wondrous, complex and multi-faceted beings that we are.

We don’t need to continually make ourselves wrong or flawed or broken.  We’re all the villain and the victim. We’re all innocent and all guilty.  We are all deserving of love no matter what.

Tricia

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Assertiveness Minus Guilt

Posted in Heal Relationships, and Live From Intuition

I surprised myself the other day while being unapologetically assertive with another human being.

He don't care what you think of him. A naturally assertive being.
He don’t care what you think of him. A naturally assertive being.

A very nice and reasonable woman knocked on our front door last Saturday afternoon, seeking my family’s participation in a national health survey being conducted on behalf of our federal government by a reputable research company.

I was in the middle of doing some tinkering with my Natural Therapy Pages webpage, a little facebooking and other mind-absorbing stuff.  My husband was dozing on the bed upstairs and the kids were staring at a game on our son’s new game console thingo.  It was plainly an inconvenient moment for a stranger to walk into our home and administer a survey.

I said no.

Knowing full well she had been knocking on doors along many a street in our town and reaping few participants since many of our neighbours are occasional weekend visitors rather than residents.

I said no.

Even realising we fitted perfectly the qualifying criteria for the age and gender of people she was required to interview,

I said no.

She asked why.  I just said, “it’s not convenient.”  The look of desperation in her face troubled me for a moment (it was a hot day), as she said; “I can come back another day.”

I still said; “no thanks, we’ll decline.”

As she reluctantly turned away from our front door and I closed it in her wake, I did feel a little uncomfortable.

I wasn’t rude and yet I was very unlike myself from days of old when I would have probably said yes, irritating my own family and compromising my own wishes in order to be “nice”.  Or, saying a very conflicted and apologetic no and feeling guilty about it for days after.

I didn’t even say sorry.

I spoke to my husband about it soon after and found I actually felt pretty comfortable with how I’d handled this refusal to be of assistance.

You see these days I’m much more comfortable in my own skin than ever before, I don’t feel the strong need I used to have for approval from others and as a result of my ever-present well developed intuition, I know without hesitation what will serve my highest good and what will not.

What also became really clear to me from this little experience was how far I have come from the Tricia of ten years ago.  Back then, not only would I have agreed to participate in the survey (regardless of personal inconvenience), I would have seen it as a highly valuable exercise in information gathering and dissemination of information to the masses for their certain betterment.  I would have felt proud to add my opinions, data and vital details, so that others may come to informed inferences, correlations and conclusions.

Nowadays I feel so inexplicably separate from the bureaucracies that administer our public health policies, campaigns and services, that to take part in a process, that to my mind is a colossal waste of money becomes a no-brainer. It’s very simple,

NO.

This is not to say I have any great criticism against our public health system in general, I just think research that results in public health campaigns to entice individuals making unhealthy choices to change their behaviour gets patchy results at best, and smacks of feel-good brownie points being scored by the political party in power.

So there.

Wow! Where did that come from?  Didn’t think I had a strong political view anywhere in my oh-so spiritually-aware self.

Hmmph. Still a normal person then? Yep that’s correct. Just happier being me these days.