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Societal Shame

Updated on April 20, 2019
SaraGardner profile image

Shaman researching recovery from trauma using her own personal experiences from cancer to dissociation and being neural atypical

You see it on so many spiritual posts especially in relation to the higher spiritual practices based around kundalini yoga etc

The great yogis talk about not using alcohol or drugs as they create mucus in your energy field so that you don't have the clear vibrating energy of true vitality.

And they are not lying, it is obvious when perceiving the aura of someone reliant on alcohol that there is this fuzzy gloopy mucus.

But! But but but!

Let us remain mindful of the difference directions of causation and correlation

When the situation is turned on its head, from my experiences of helping people with energetic healing work, there is always a root cause of “trauma” (excuse the quotation marks I just want to highlight that I am using the word in its most broadest sense, and have no wish to clump together people's experiences)

These traumas occur and persist because they happened at a time when we were unable to deal with an incoming overly stressful situation, either because we were at the end of our tether or because we were physically unable to do anything because we were too young or too incapacitated.

And so our physical body and mind work together to enact emergency protocols and stick the trauma away into our body without a reference in the mind (to stop us from constantly fretting over it because that would also consume our vitality)

So we end up in the situation wherein we sometimes get a weird feeling that we don't like a particular place, or a certain person or a particular image but we can't give any rational explanation as to why.

Back in ancient cultures where dance, singing, drumming and community were natural aspects of daily life and we had a greater awareness of our physical body with less concern for mental chatter the pathways for the processing of these somatized traumas were open and understood.

But certainly in my modern day European white upbringing most all of these practices have been branded as “heathen” “pagan” or just plain ridiculous.

I'm not going to get embroiled into any conspiracy theories about whether this was an intentional practice to dumb down the whole of humanity because if you understand what the mass consciousness of humanity represents then you will understand that if you dumb down your neighbour then you dumb down yourself.

What I have seen in my practice, and in my own personal journey out of the clutches of old traumas is that the fog in which we find ourselves embroiled in is for the most part shame.

There is a huge amount of shame and stigma towards mental health.

Those who think and process differently are assumed to have mental issues and are ostracised, which in many cases creates the perfect conditions for mental ill health to manifest!

When I was living in Aberdeen for a while I was looking for the housing office as I was seeking help to extract myself and my young daughter from an abusive situation. I approached a well dressed lady on the high street to ask directions and she just stared straight ahead and kept walking. She didn't even acknowledge my existence and in that moment I physically felt the trauma which envelopes our entire being on all levels when we are ostracised from our tribe. Psychologists have begun to understand that being ignored by someone important to you is felt as pain in our brains, and here I was a desperate mother trying to find a safe place for myself and my daughter in a strange town.

Of course I could also recognise that this was an old lady living in a polarized city that was made of the super rich from the oil industry and the super poor, all of who “enjoyed” a lifestyle that was heavily involved in drugs. The bedraggled women approaching her on the high street was most likely on most days somebody asking for money, and I certainly fitted the description of “worn out” as my chemotherapy for my stage 3 ovarian cancer had certainly left its mark on me, further worsened by my ex husband's court case to try to remove my daughter from me as a means to blackmail me into giving him the family home to pay off his new girlfriend's debts.

And now here I was in Scotland trying to extract myself from that situation and playing a very risky game of moving in with my boyfriend that under normal circumstances I would not be moving in with.

I thought that I could handle it. I had thought that it would be ok. I was wrong.

Within a few weeks I realised that for my mental health, and the safety of my daughter, I needed to leave. Even though I knew the act of leaving would be dangerous for me.

And so maybe that nice old lady could literally feel that frission of desperation literally emanating from my person and she refused to allow me to exist in her world. She just walked on by and continued with her safe life. And I don't blame her.

In that moment I saw myself through her eyes and I felt ashamed of myself, ashamed of what I had become.

And that is the essence and the origin of Shame

That is the essence of the sticky mucus that people have in their auric field.

And the people stuck in that hard place have nowhere left to turn

Nobody understands their burden

and so nobody helps them with it

Here but for the grace of the gods go I is probably what most feel as we all try to make our way in this modern disconnected world

Of course, the vast majority of people are nice

We look after the homeless on the street

We give the alcoholics some beer money

We view it as their choice to be doing what they are doing

And so we change nothing in society because we believe it's balanced out but I'm not so sure that it is, in fact I'm not so sure that we shouldn't be terrified of the implications of losing our sense of community.

I see this process coming to a climax here in Finland

Finland has a lot of alcoholics

It's a part of the culture

It's accepted

The alcoholics are looked after

And their rights to their life choice is upheld.

There is the standing joke now in Finland because it has just been voted the happiest country in the world. Finland is the happiest country in the world because all the depressed people commit suicide.

Efforts are made to stop the most prevalent trends but it doesn't seem as if anything is being done in the world to get to the root cause.

A very Finnish habit is for the depressed person to drive their car into the path of a large lorry. Of course this is unfair on the lorry driver but we must remember that a depressed person by definition is not thinking clearly. Any thinking about the world and their place in it is shut down as it is a cause of much pain, existential pain. The only way to shut off existential pain is to snuff out existing. However, the study of epigenetics begins to show us that this doesn't end the trauma for the tribe, for humanity but that is a whole other topic.

Recently there was a case in which a drunken suicidal person went out to end their life, saw some headlights, mistakenly assumed it was a lorry, and ploughed into a mopo car (light version of a car with a tiny engine designed for teenagers) and killed all the young occupants. This person is to be tried for murder.

But, for me, that is a dangerous direction to be heading, although I can fully understand the frustration of the police and emergency services that must deal with this endemic tide of darkness. There is a certain day as Christmas approaches when the pain of the depressed reaches critical mass and then the onslaught begins....

And then there is the other very Finnish thing where the depressed father cannot fathom his way out of the darkness and can no longer bear the thought of letting his children suffer as he has done in this cold, cruel and heartless world and so he shoots them before turning the gun on himself.....

All unnecessary tragedies because as a society we have forgotten the importance of body, voice and expression. And as I see the commercialisation of the Finnish people and their culture I am concerned that this trend will escalate.

The memes lauding Finnish sisu.....the perseverance to keep going which was so valuable in the pioneering days when the tribes headed North to find new ways of living.....but in the modern finite world it imparts an obligation to just keep on and on and ignoring the pain, no matter what, and this is what leads to tragic consequences.

The memes lauding the Finns love of privacy, which keeps those suffering locked into a cycle of suffering. If they reach out they are disturbing the sacred privacy of their neighbours, friends and family. It is the shame of not being a True Finn which keeps them locked in their suffering. Shame for not persevering, shame for being broken in the first place, shame for reaching out and disturbing the sanctity of the Finnish culture silence.

Finns don't do emotions. To be emotional is to be weird, mad, hysterical, mental. To even think of expressing your rage carries such a stigma of shame to it that will have you ostrasized from your tribe.

Finns don't talk much. And shame on those who do. My neighbour is scathing about the ridiculous habit of “small talk” that the English engage in, as if they are a race of babbling lunatics with nothing better to do with their lives. He doesn't see, comprehend nor understand that this small talk is a way of checking in with your fellow humans, a way of letting people know that you care, that they are seen, or a way of letting people know that you are beginning to feel a little under the weather.......and yes that is precisely why it revolves mostly around discussions based on the weather. This is how the natural cycles of life are woven into the exchange.

Finland and Great Britain are roughly equivalent sizes of land mass but with very different population sizes, Finland's population is a mere 5 million and Britain is currently 66 million. So it is not unreasonable for the Brits to make their checking in system with their actual voice. As a Londoner when I see a person sat on a bench by the river in Worcester where I often walk, and I am not quite sure if they are deep in good thoughts or lost in an internal struggle of suffering I use my voice. In my best Cockney voice as I walk past I say “Al'right” and this delivers a sharp and brief burst of energy into their auric field, just enough to cause them to look out from their depths momentarily. It hovers between a greeting and a question, so that the recipient doesn't feel pressured. After all, my initial concerns may have been that this person is at the end of their tether and so I am careful not to add anything to their burden. If our eyes can meet then I can see everything in there but full eye contact is usually avoided for that very reason.

If their answer allays my gut feeling then I continue walking seemingly without losing my stride, because I am an expert of this. Sometimes they indicate they are fine but I am not so sure, and so I respond “Sure?” with direct eye contact on my part because sometimes the response of “I'm fine” is a learned response to just make life easier rather than having to explain the depths of your suffering to people who have never felt like that, or who have no ability to cope with imagining it.

And if the response appears to be at the beginnings of anger then I leave because I know that anger is one step up from the overwhelming blanket of depression. Anger is powerful and can burn away the sticky mucus of shame, and so I know that the person whose flame of life still flickers with anger at least has the possibility of hope. That anger is their own personal light in a dark place. It is in physical education, drama, music and art classes that we are encouraged to let our anger flow out in a directed and useful manner. It's not hard to find the correlation between the disappearance of these aspects of our education systems in the UK and the rise in mental health issues.

The man I would see on the bench each day when I was out running struck me. I would say hello and engage in a little small talk as I jogged by each time I saw him all alone with his 4 tins of extra strong lager. Not homeless (from his clothes) but heading that way....

And so one day I stopped to stretch my muscles and catch my breath, and chat to him a little. “How are you today?” I enquired casually. He told me that he wished he could run but he had this physical thing etc. I could hear his shame as he gave me all the excuses for not being “right”. So I just launched into a story and told him all about my back, how it had always been “bad” since I was about 12, how I had blamed it for holding me back, and secretly liked to use it as an excuse for when I was too afraid to do something but too ashamed to admit my fear. Then I told him how I had recognised what I had been doing, and how I had realised that I was really just destroying myself by insisting on my own limitations based on my fears and my shame. (Maybe I don't remember exactly where my fear or my shame began but that was no longer relevant because I had taken on the mantle myself and was continuing the destructive nature of them. )

In reality, I was telling him that he had nothing to be ashamed of, that he wasn't alone.....not necessarily that there was somebody there holding his hand but that right across the world in every continent and every country there are everyday normal people feeling and suffering exactly the same things that were threatening to consume him. And I know that there is a whole pile of power in just recognising that.

And then I jogged on. I never saw him again.

Did he hear my words and change his life for the better?

Or did he just start choosing a bench away from that bloody ginger woman who didn't really understand his stuff?

We will never know.

We don't need to know.

But just imagine that in every moment that you see somebody in despair that you offer them a little light of hope, an authentic grain of something from your own world so that your humanity is both seen and shared as you both rise to being the best that you can with what you have in that moment .

My light of hope for the future of humanity is that the current chaotic storm engulfing us all in needless pain and suffering will settle as we each learn to turn to the Other next to us in each moment, and learn to connect with them in the deepest way we know how. Those who have suffered know that look when they see it in the eye of A.N. Other and if we learn to stop a moment and let the connection and acknowledgement of that moment pass between us then a relationship chord is created in our energy field, our auric field holds a certain colour, an energy vibration which tells the other something about us, something they can connect with and not feel so helplessly alone and powerless in.

And as these chords and webs criss cross across the world we will begin to understand and live in the true essence of humanity. This is our evolution in progress, in real time. Go out and be human, go change the world.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Sara Gardner


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