And I did some powerful work around Shame and Self-Love.
Ground zero for my shame was my abuse and how I went on to hurt myself and others.
So much of my “Journey Home” has been about facing the shame that became my emotional home and my resulting lack of self-love.
The message that I was wrong was reinforced at a very young age by my family, friends, society and religion! And what ensued was truckloads of guilt and shame.
Guilt is the belief that you did something wrong! Shame is the belief that you are wrong! I became so crippled with the belief that I was wrong that I could not allow myself to just be.
There is a roadmap we are given at a very young age of the way we see the world and the way we think it should be. It comes from all kinds of outside circumstances. But ultimately, it’s not the outside circumstance that defines us; it’s what we choose to make those outside circumstance mean. And at ten years old not many of us have the wherewithal to ask why we are giving life a particular meaning. At ten years old we are just looking for and wanting love, so what we do is take on the messages we are given by family, friends, society and religion that surrounds us so we can be good little kids and get the love we so need.
And this is the part of me that keeps resurfacing so that it can be healed. And part of that healing is to reframe that ten year old’s belief system so that he no longer feels like the wounded boy, and instead becomes the ten year old “Super Child.”
So when I feel guilty or shameful, it helps to be aware that it’s really just ten year old me that feels guilty and shameful, because ten year old me has been running the show for a very long time.
So it becomes pretty obvious then that shame and guilt was never really “My” identity. I just took on the identity because of the messages I was given!
I am not guilty and I am not shameful. I experienced guilt and I experienced shame which is different from saying, “I am guilty!” Or, “I am shameful!”
So for me my “Journey Home” has meant climbing out of the shame and working on self forgiveness and not being defined by my past or my dark side.
This is part of the reason why I feel so driven to serve. It’s because I know firsthand what it’s like to be so hurt and in so much pain that “checking out” seems like a really good and tangible option.
I am living proof that there is a way out, no matter how far the down the road you have gone.
I have made best attempts, where possible, to make direct amends to the people I have hurt. And I am making living amends to those that I cannot make direct amends to by living a life of purpose and service to others.
The name of the game is vulnerability. That’s what I am being called to do. And in my vulnerability is strength!
And I have to risk it all. And to live a self-approved life, this is the direction I have to go.
Our goal is to develop emotional fitness and that takes discipline and repetition, just like working out at the gym in order to attain physical fitness.
The “Journey Home” is about you getting in touch with the divinity and The Uni-verse that is inside of you, so that you are in alignment with yourself and your life.
So are your feelings of self worth and your identity being defined by the messages you got as a child?
Would you “risk” not being defined by your “dark side” and practice self- forgiveness?
What would you be willing to let go of so that you can get in touch with The Uni-verse within you?
Let me know. Please share your comments below.
Much Love & Welcome Home.
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Ryf Van Rij is a coach and creator of “The Daily Way Home.” He has also been an Actor, a Commercial Pilot, a Business Co-Owner, and an Events Coordinator at a Major City Art Gallery.