Embodiment Through Shame


I have done a lot of healing since 2005 and as a result, have come to a place where the shocks of life have been transformed into a more calm and relaxed state. This has been the case for almost a year now. It became quite evident and symbolic last August when I instructed at the seminar series in Niagara Falls, NY. I had been abducted and taken to a motel on the Canadian side back in 1988. During time off from the seminar, I went back to the motel, accompanied by my dear friend Ann and put closure on the terrifying feelings and sensations of what went on in that room. There was very little fear left and both Ann and John helped immensely with filling this void where there had only been terror. I felt truly transformed into a whole human being and was feeling embodied in my essence.

During a technique John did with me after my trip to the motel, feelings of intense shame came up. John gave me homework and I have been doing this and finding more and different shame perceptions around sexual encounters. It has been circling and I felt a little lost in it.  So, not knowing how to feel through that, I turned to enjoying the transformation that had happened and involved myself in the more superfluous aspects of living. I felt an intense need for more feelings of enjoyment. I could not feel this “more” inside my body, so I found it through treating clients. But after work, this need continued and I turned to alcohol to feel. I knew this was misdirected, but I didn’t know how else to get there. I was self-treating every day, but I had a feeling this was an interpersonal block. Unfortunately, shame begs not sharing with anyone.  

My misdirection continued with thoughts that I wasn’t doing enough to help others. Then that moved to not having enough purpose to move me to action. Then, Richard posted about his writing a book about the therapeutic mind. Somehow his words about helping people construct meaning through dialogue and MFR sent me swiftly to a coping dead end. Impulsively, I went through all my previous posts and comments from MFR Talk and MFR Insight and deleted them. The ones I had permission to anyway. I wanted to be alone. Very alone. I sat outside for hours and hours over the course of 3 days. I didn’t want to go to work. All the same feelings I’ve had before a breakthrough. . .

I walked myself through that night of deleting again and felt a twinge in my body as I remembered the post I had deleted about drinking alcohol and “I wonder what would happen if I came home from work and didn’t have a drink.” The ‘what if’ never happened and here I was thinking about it.  This is really hard . . .  

I felt completely disgusted with myself for not stopping, knowing full well it wasn’t a genuine good feeling experience. I felt completely ashamed. Feeling this, I went immediately back to the motel room. I was half lying on the bed naked with this man visually taking me in.  I could feel my inner thighs getting soft, feeling vulnerable, then intense shame as his eyes moved to between my legs. Fear flooded into my thighs and belly and a realization of how completely helpless I was – in every way. There was nothing I could do to shut him out and so I numbed myself to shame. My hands were handcuffed behind my back and I couldn’t cover myself. More intense feelings of shame mixed with terror rose into my throat and into the roof of my mouth. I let my body soften more. I wanted to feel it all and not throw it up. I knew feeling it fully, it would dissipate in waves and be gone permanently and so I let it happen. I let my body take over. Shaking in waves, a little sound coming out, softening, feeling more into my body by allowing the full feeling of shame to flood over me. 

Then there was a pause. A still point. I felt this space. Then, like a wave comes back, tingling feelings that felt good began moving up my inner legs, through my pelvis and up out the top of my head. Not a lot, but enough to feel the difference between shame and inner strength. I got up and walked around. My feet didn’t ache taking those steps. They’ve been aching for about 6 months. Huh.

 I’ve been waiting for this opening. I am kind of excited there is more to come now that I’ve unlocked the door John showed me in Niagara Falls. It was mine to unlock when the pain of not feeling pleasure was harder to bear than the shame. Let’s see where this goes.


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