Shedding the shame for good

by tamarjacobson

Quotes of the day:

I am afraid to lose persons I love or to see them suffer; I fear the deterioration of old age; I fear the world's increasing poverty, violence, and the world's corruption. In these years without you I have learned to manage sadness, making it my ally. Little by little your absence and other losses in my life are turning into sweet nostalgia. That is what I am attempting in my stumbling spiritual practice: to rid myself of the negative feelings that prevent walking with assurance. I want to transform rage into creative energy and guilt into a mocking acceptance of my faults; I want to sweep away arrogance and vanity. I have no illusions, I will never achieve absolute detachment, authentic compassion, or the state of ecstasy known to the enlightened; it seems I do not have the bones of a saint, but I can aspire to crumbs: fewer bonds, a bit of affection for others, the joy of a clean conscience. (Page 96)

it isn't the truth exposed that makes us vulnerable, it's what we try to keep secret. (Page 134)

We're bound together, we don't want to be separated, but that doesn't mean we don't have the occasional fight. I never lay down my sword. Just in case. (Page 147)

The Sum of Our Days, Isabel Allende

I have been traveling a lot these past several days. Up to State College and down to Atlantic City. And I will be setting out again on election day (after I vote for Obama, of course!) for, of all places, Dallas, Texas to watch the votes come in. I have been on buses and trains, and will be on a couple of planes. Setting out, I have my presentation tucked away in the bag, a couple of dolls who always keep me company, just in case I want to demonstrate how you hold a child in your arms, but also just to keep me company, and a good book. Isabel Allende's memoir also accompanied me as I traveled through Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I became enveloped by stories of her "tribe," and was filled with my own deep reflection, and "sweet nostalgia."

It has been good to turn my sights inward once again. My brain, body and soul have been so intensely focused on the political fervor and importance of this election, that I have forgotten who I am traveling with … my self. I noticed that these past four months I have shed close to 30 pounds in body weight. It is hard work, exercising diligently, and watching those portions, all the while sticking to Phase II of the South Beach Diet, but in reality it is just all about giving up on all that addictive sweet stuff I used to cling to when guilt and shame overwhelmed my soul. For shame and guilt is what it is all about for me. Deep – very deep – within. 

These past four years, after I left Bob-the-therapist and relocated to Philadelphia, I faced down my most painful inner demons, locked heads and confronted them relentlessly until exhausted, and emotionally spent, I allowed them to roll away into the shadows. And there they remain, raising their heads for a quiet roar now and again. Only, now, they make me giggle. For, I see them as helpful signs warning me that I might slip back into those old holes along whose old worn-out roads I used to travel. Yes indeed, they have become scars that now only waken faint twinges of pain in the rain. And as they roll away, so do the pounds it seems. 

I noticed that these past four months I have been taking care of myself. Eating healthy foods, walking out in the fresh air, doing daily yoga and breathing exercises, and keeping a balance between work and alone time. I have even allowed myself to purchase a few new clothes or "things" I like. 

I wonder, am I actually shedding the shame for good?

About a year ago at Mining Nuggets: Heroes