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High standards bent my neck,

forcing me to look

at false mirrors;

a blink is all it took.

Then with closed eyes,

I breathed so deep

my neck relaxed,

insecurities fell asleep.

I’m awake again.

Forbidden flavors I was banned from tasting.

Warmth I was scolded for embracing.

A radiant fire gleaming as I fell

for an insecure god’s manipulative spell.

Blood boiling once I learned of dignity

while taught to drain it for undeserved pity.

Confidence became a mix of flavor,

sweet when pious, sour to the savior

who wanted to save me from myself,

condemning autonomy as an agent of Hell.

I’m inching closer and closer to meeting my creative goals and a little bit of terror creeps deeper in my psyche because I’m one of those people who fears success. I fear being excited and proud of myself because my reactions have been “too much” sometimes. I fear being happy for myself because there’s someone else who isn’t happy and I need to be there for them. I fear the pressure that comes subsequently after being in the spotlight because of a success. I fear that all the hypothetical stimuli, all the changes and events that could occur, after a success or failure will overwhelm me and cause a mental breakdown. Shame, was the best counter to my fears, so I thought. Instead, shame magnified all of that. It discouraged me from truly embracing the achievements I had made in life and simultaneously added fuel to the fire.

So let’s knock that shit off, said my spirit guides.

Today, I spoke with the spirits about shame, my biggest fear and my favorite defense mechanism. I’m going to breakdown what I was told about shame during the reading. I used the Tao Oracle Deck, the Raider-Waite Tarot, and the Psychic Tarot Deck.

The Tao Oracle Cards

  • Surrender: Submit to how you’re feeling. Acknowledge what you’re upset or ashamed about. – It’s so habitual for us to bury whatever we’re feeling when shame comes around because we’re introduced to it early on. Repressing your emotions brings temporary relief and long-term emotional scars. To have a more functional relationship with the part of you that feels overwhelmed by shame, you need to acknowledge your own feelings. Express in your own way how you’re feeling to yourself.
  • Grounding: Neutralize the situation and reassure yourself. Don’t completely blame yourself or others; just address what’s happening and what you need to do to ground or calm yourself again. – Once you know how you’re feeling, discuss it as neutrally and honestly as possible. How are you feeling? I’m sad. I’m pissed. I’m depressed. I’m worried. I’m anxious. Why? Because [insert distressing situation here] is happening. Okay. What will help you calm down right now? I need to be alone. I need to cry. I need a friend. I need to hit something (inanimate). I need to scream. Really, I think the best part about grounding is just being as real as possible in the moment, preferably alone or with someone you trust and without brining physical harm to yourself or anyone else. Grounding is dropping that emotional baggage. Let that sh*t fall.
  • Be Your Own Sage: Although you’ll be tempted to recall past experiences this situation reminds you of, look through those memories with compassion. Think about what you can and can’t control. – So, most of the fury has passed, but the shame is still lingering. I think this is when the brain starts thinking up ideas on how to cope. If we let shame take the lead during this brainstorm session, we won’t look at our past coping mechanisms with compassion. We may repeat self-destructive tendencies or think of something new. Compassion for the self and others, however, counters shame. The three tarot cards at the bottom, the nine of swords (the situation), the ten of swords reversed (the action), and the page of cups (the outcome), revealed that my anxiety and despair (the nine of swords) isn’t permanent. It will eventually end (the ten of swords reversed). When I look back on how I recovered, it can inspire a greater revelation about my unconscious (page of cups) and if I choose to, I can trust that experience to help me move on and prepare for the future. Thus, shame is no longer required. I felt like sh*t. I let that sh*t go. Now, I am the sh*t because I learned something new about myself. Good job, me.
  • Be Cautious: Shame and other emotionally exhausting situations will not heal in a day, a week, a month, etc. . Be patient with yourself as you try to apply what you’ve learned from the past to your present situation. – During the healing process, sometimes the wound will reopen unexpectedly or we relapse and rip it open ourselves. It happens. Sometimes shame appears because we’re not healing fast enough or getting over it quick enough. You may have just learned to be your own sage, but all of the best advice for your problems won’t do much if you don’t give it time to sink in. Think of it like glue. You have to give it time to dry before it can do its job. If you keep expecting it to be instant and mess with the adhesive before it dries, you’re going to end up with mess and disappointed. It’s not just impatience, but also self-sabotage. When that happens, you go back to acknowledging your emotions, grounding yourself, learn from the experience, and apply the experience to your situation. It’s a process. Let it take its course.

This isn’t easy…

Dealing with shame in this way isn’t easy. I don’t think it’s meant to be easy. So don’t expect it to be. I’m going to just keep trying. The two of swords on the left in the second picture signifies indecision in my subconscious, which is very true right now. I feel torn between addressing my shame in this new way and letting it win, but on the right, the two of pentacles, representing my conscious, is a good reminder that shame brings up a lot of things that are hard to juggle. I can find my balance eventually if I give it time. Lastly, the third picture shows four more cards that stood out to me: Balance, to recall that two of pentacles energy, the four of wands reversed, pointing out what I’m struggling with is most likely linked to what I’ve been through with those close to me, Longevity from the Tao oracle, signifying the use of this new way of processing shame, and Emotional Loss, the core to my shame, I would say.

So, yeah, just wanted to share that. Thank you if you read all the way through. This was a bit hard to write, being more transparent and all that. But whatever. I’m not ashamed 🙂 .

Insecurity is a radical notion from the most defensive and protective parts of ourselves that convince us to sacrifice so much on the basis of fear. Frankly, I get really frustrated with these internal extremes that tell me, “You don’t write like this or that so you should just stop…forever.” It’s ridiculous because when I breakdown this thought process, I always come to the conclusion that I’m just not happy with myself. There are still these bits of shame, like little, poisonous seeds hiding in really rich soil that I keep finding though I’ve been doing much more reflection and grounding to remind myself that who I am is enough.

I was overthinking my articles today and why I call it research. It is and isn’t research for my novel. Really, it’s just my interests being written out in more of a discourse. I’ve been told I write in a way that’s really informative, but other than my chakra stone list articles, I don’t really want the information I share to be so easily accepted. I want to discuss the topic and argument or theory I propose. Sure, some of my articles are a little more on the assertive side, as in addressing how twin flame experiences aren’t purely romantic or that being an empath does certainly lead to discovering your psychic or intuitive potential, but I still want to hear feedback. My article about my link to faith and Hermeticism shook me for a while (which is why it currently isn’t available since I’m working on its revision); I think it was my tone and my sources that brought on a lot of strong feedback, which I was grateful for, but I did end up watering those seeds of insecurity thinking I was just some delirious person who had no idea what Hermeticism was about, unlike those who gave me feedback and truly made Hermeticism their personal philosophy. But the thing is, that feedback was absolutely wonderful. I just have the tendency to take criticism as the chopping block for my dignity. I don’t need to be punished for seeing things differently or because I’m inexperienced with a certain topic, but still wanted to write about it. In fact, I’m not that inexperienced with Hermeticism, but I could certainly reach out to more sources than The Kyballion (and I certainly wished the feedback I got would’ve recommended some sources). I write because I am a writer and all that comes with that is experience and growth. Why does my insecurity want to cut myself short from the many benefits of taking everything in? And why haven’t I become grounded enough to face my insecurities with more gumption?

That in itself is also an experience I need to learn. It’s sort of like pulling out weeds from your driveway that keep sprouting over and over again. Besides, it’s not like I’m wanting to feed the weeds, it’s just a part of nature doing it’s thing. Yeah. It’s human nature. I mean, I almost went to a place of discouraging myself from finishing my novel simply because my use of mythology may piss of a few Greek and Egyptian mythology nerds. The intention of my writing isn’t too offend anyone (or coddle anyone’s views); I write so I can be. That’s it. And if the audience that takes a chance on my craft doesn’t align with my perspectives, they can put the book down and move on as I continue to tread forward and keep writing. Yes, I do want my work to be discussed. I really, really do want that, even when my sensitive nature shirks in my shadows and cries on my superego’s shoulder for not reaching certain standards or expectations. When I receive feedback and my sensitive nature gets triggered, in that moment, I have to decide whether I’m going to water the weeds or yank them out.

I am a writer. I am an artist. I am enough. I am.

I think affirming who you are on your own is the ultimate weed killer because sometimes yanking out weeds is a temporary fix. You gotta get those bitches at the root. No matter what anyone says, I have to believe that I am enough.

On another note, I recently remembered how much I love film and writing screenplays…I’ve had an old piece in mind, but it was a script for a video game. I could easily make it into a movie though.