There Is No Shame In Reaching Out!
Shame and guilt, are two of the lowest energies that keep us stuck, and drag us down!
Shame and guilt keep us mired in terrible feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth.
If people were better able to overcome their feelings of shame, guilt and isolation, then they would hopefully be on their way to recovery and a new life.
But a lot of people struggle and suffer unnecessarily!
Staying stuck in our pain and suffering, too afraid to reach out and let others help us, we often cling to the only thing that we have: pride.
The Prison Of Pride
Pride is well seen and often highly valued in our modern society. It has this notion of self-reliance and independence about it. Holding our head up high in the face of a multitude of trials and tribulations, while inside of ourselves we may be crumbling and barely hanging on.
Far too many times we may have seen those around us, family members and friends, who looked like they were barely managing to keep it together, but when we asked them if they were okay or needed our help, they merely brushed us and everyone aside.
There is a very valid reason why it is said that:
Pride goeth before a fall
Perhaps later we come back and see that they have sunk even further, perhaps because of one of the following reasons:
- They were not ready to see that they were not able to resolve their problems alone
- They just didn’t want to face up to them (denial)
- They waited too long. In the case of health issues, finances, or relationship problems.
The Antidote To Pride And Shame
There is a way out.
It does require something special before beginning however.
And that special something is: COURAGE
The Map Of Consciousness
According to David R. Hawkins, in his epic book Power Vs. Force, he suggests that there is a “Map of Consciousness”.
This map depicts ALL of the levels of consciousness that are possible for humanity, ranging from SHAME at the lowest level, just one level above DEATH, all the way to ENLIGHTENMENT!
Now I will be the first to admit, that Enlightenment is a pretty lofty goal to aim for! For most of us mere mortals, PEACE OF MIND, LOVE, and JOY would be more than enough.
So What’s Stopping Us?
Dawkins suggest that our present day modern society is caught at the level of PRIDE.
So what’s wrong with that?
We were taught that to have “pride” in oneself is a good thing, perhaps even a great thing.
However pride has a very nasty shadow side to it, and the flip side of pride is “SHAME“.
We as a society flip from Pride to Shame. And that is a very dangerous game to play with each other.
When we are up and feeling on top of the world we may feel intense pride. But when we fall, possibly due to excessive pride or even boasting, we may experience devastating shame. And that shame may be compounded if it is public.
The Pride / Shame Dynamic In Everyday Life
To get an idea of the devastating effects of pride and shame in the world, one need not look much further than your local checkout counter at the grocery store and the latest scandal mag, or turn on the TV.
We call it “celebrity” status.
As a society we seem to love to place our heroes on pedestals, to worship and adore them, and to cast praises upon them.
But the moment they dare to show some form of humanity and fumble, look how quickly society not only knocks them off of those pedestals, but throws them down in a heap of shame!
Charlie Sheen comes to mind. And there are many innumerable examples of people who became stars and crashed down, or were torn down by their difficulties made public by an eager to profit media. Michael Jackson is another example. The list is long and painful. Pick a sport, pick a profession, pick any group that is regularly in the limelight, and we will see the dual mechanism of pride and shame at work.
Courage is the way out of shame and guilt according to Dawkins.
Actually the way out is to “accept” one’s situation first. To dare to have the courage to see that things are not going the way we would like them to go. To see that the way that we are managing our life, our affairs, is less than what we would hope for.
And by the way, acceptance doesn’t mean that we have to like what we see. It means that we accept the “reality” of how things are. Once we stop fighting against reality, then an internal process begins. It is almost as if our internal mechanism were saying:
Okay, now that I have accepted this thing… now what???
The “now what” is what we embrace with courage!
The “now what” is the rest of our lives.
The “now what” is being ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get our life back on track!
It means not letting “pride” or the opinions of others stand in our way of getting our lives back on track. Where are those people going to be five years from now anyway?
It may even mean “surrending“. Realizing that even though we really badly want to get our lives back on track, it may also mean that we don’t know how to do it!
It may be in those moments that we are called to reach out. Perhaps to those people who cared and asked us if we were “okay”. To swallow our pride and reach out and “ask” for help.
Once we do get over our pride and reach out and ask for help that first time, we may then realize that it wasn’t as difficult, or bad, or shameful as we had thought it would be.
What could be far worse is staying stuck in our pride, and never reaching out for help, when the answers and the people may be right at hand, and perhaps more than willing to lend a helping hand.
And if we still need some convincing, perhaps when we get back up on our feet, we can help those who are less fortunate to get up as well!
One Final Thought: The Myth Of Independence?
All of us at some time or another like to think of ourselves as “independent” or “self-reliant”.
Are any of us really that independent or self-reliant?
When was the last time any one of us grew ALL of our food?
When did we take apart and completely reassemble our transmissions? Okay a few of you may have….
But when did we make the material to build our houses?
When did we fly our own personally made planes, from self-constructed airports, with jet fuel that we extracted and refined ourselves?…
I think you get the picture.
We all need one another. We can do so much more, and help each other to a much greater level of living by helping each other and being there for each other.
All we need do is step out of our collective shame, embrace the courage to want to live a life with less suffering, and possibly more meaning.
Have courage. Reach out. Help is just a call away!