Toxic Shame II
I have done my best.
It is not "all my fault".
I am still here.
I am still here. That is success, of a sort, and has to be enough. I have not- done certain things, but if I judge myself by what I have not done, I will be entirely miserable. I have achieved certain things: I wrote a painstaking analysis of every single word in an activity and descriptor in the Incapacity Benefit test, to show that if the DWP’s less generous interpretation were correct there was a superfluous word, and since legislators must be presumed to draft elegantly without superfluous words, my more generous interpretation which gave that word meaning must be correct.
I love Law at its most creative, and at any level I could be employed, it is bureaucratic and repetitive.
Oh! Pain and regret! It is not my fault.
It is not my fault- two years not being paid, and not now looking for work, and not, much, engaging with other people. I was looking for work, at the start, and I did my best. I always have done my best, and while the inner critic might say it was not good enough, she had no useful way of making it better.
Pain and regret mingle with shame. I cracked a tooth, and my tongue repeatedly explored the gap, and the new so-sharp edge. And, after a time I noticed- my tongue is not exploring that, much, now, and the edge is not as sharp as it was. So-
I am not working.
“I am not ashamed of that.”
Test it. Is it true, or is it just that I would like it to be true so pretend it is? So much easier, to note that particular spiritual growth is possible, and pretend one has done it. I think there are moments when it is true, and they are moments of what I have called Presence, being “in the moment”. Shame is part of the miasma which binds me to past and future.
That miasma blunts my feeling! I do not feel the sharpness of fear or anger or delight when in it!
Shame is different from regret. Oh! That happened! I am hurt by it, I wish it had not, in that way, but of all that feeling Shame is the only one which takes a bite out of me. Shame blames me- I was not good enough, as if that information could be any use at all. There were other options I did not see, and I might see options better after that experience, and it had its positives.
Shame. What on Earth is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
Emotional Being: Shame is not you. It is like handcuffs, preventing you from dancing. Move your arms freely, and be beautiful.