Monday, October 6, 2014

This weeks blog discusses the debilitating effects of Guilt and Shame

 “Shame (guilt) is seen in Dagara culture as a collapsing emotional force that paralyzes the self and therefore like grief should only be experienced in a sacred ceremonial context. …Shame compresses the psyche dangerously, one experiences crippling rejection and ostracism as one’s self-esteem is almost exterminated… this is comparable to death.” Malidoma Patrice Some

 Shame has been shown to increase pro inflammatory factors such as the white blood cells and C Reactive Protein. This is associated with an increase in atheroschlerosis (hardening of the arteries,) certain auto-immune disease and even some cancers. A close cousin, Guilt, also arises from Fear and dread. A feeling of worthlessness that the patient does not deserve to be well can arise from Guilt; sexual, religious and other. Guilt may also be aggravated by a "New Age" misconception that not only has the patient caused the illness by their life style but has the ability to correct it as well. When a cure does not occur this may lead to more Guilt. Guilt debilitates the Inner Healer
No one really understands why some people get all while others do not. As the bumper sticker proclaims; "shit happens!"
"Anyone who isn't confused here really doesn't understand what is going on."
Folks who smoke, drink, do no exercise and have poor diets live into old age while others who do the opposite get sick or even drop dead while working out.

The Kahuna curse was used in bygone days to punish a guilty party. If someone had committed a murder, all that was necessary was for the Kahunas to place a curse on that person and the combination of Guilt as well as the curse was as sure as any death sentence.

This concept is similar to the notion of an ordeal poison used in South Africa before the missionaries arrived to punish guilty persons. The person incriminated was told to drink the poison knowing that they would vomit it all back if innocent but would absorb it and die if guilty. Supposedly the Guilt plus the Fear of being guilty was such that all the intestinal defense mechanisms were neutralized and the vile tasting poison traveled on down the gut without being expelled. The sangoma or shaman would no doubt have divined already and found that person to be guilty before imposing this formidable lie detector test.
As mentioned before in prior blogs; shame, guilt, self-condemnation or self-recrimation have no place in the healing equation and are also a huge impediment on the path the Self realization. We all need to lay down this burden and stop carrying it around like an albatross. Forgiveness begins with ourselves which makes it easier to extend to others. Forgiveness is healthful and often more important for the one doing the forgiving than for the one receiving it. Forgiveness is best given before someone passes onto the other side - the business of forgiveness should never be left unfinished!
The day of Atonement in Judaism is about Teshuva which is to return with forgiveness to our Higher Selves.
The steps to this involve: Admit to and “feel” regret about the wrongfulness to the offended one and if necessary publicly (especially in the case of slander,) without any self-justification. Restore what has been lost and determine never to repeat it.
     …What you give to if not received also is not lost. Both not getting back what you have given, and not having what you have given being received. Neither is a waste or a loss.” J. O’Donahue

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