This morning in meditation I noticed thoughts coming up, cutting thoughts. These razor sharp thoughts activated shame deep within me. It was emotional self mutilation at its best. A pattern that has been with me since I was very young. I am highly skilled at using my thoughts to cut myself down.
Because of the personal healing work I've done, I'm able to recognize these activating thoughts. Thank goodness for all that cognitive behavioral therapy, self compassion work, shadow work, trance healing, and oh my the list goes on. But even with all that healing work under my belt, those thoughts still persist, less frequently thank goodness. My training tells me that this is normal, but the shame says something much different. The shame tells me I am a failure. And then the shame deepens.
At some point, I recognize what I'm doing. The shame is pouring out, a deep scarlet shame. It's like a siren's call, beckoning me deeper into the pain. Fighting back does no good. It only feeds the energy of shame. So, instead, I tell myself, "Set it down." Over and over again, set it down, set it down, set it down. Set the razor sharp thoughts down. And then begins the practice.
I notice and set it down. It's like setting down a knife and slowly backing away. But there's another one popping up. I hear it out and then set it down. Again and again, I listen and set it down, listen and set it down. They start to subside. They diminish. The part of me that holds that old shame is heard but not fed. This time the theme was not enough, not good enough, not doing enough, I'm not enough.
Once more, my training kicks in and reminds me that this is normal, and this experience has revealed another part hiding in the shadows calling out for healing. But the me that wants to have a relaxing Saturday is frustrated at having more healing work to do. And so it goes. I set it down again.
I feel wrung out, tired but calm. I call in healing energy, peaceful energy, to cleanse and bring healing to that part of me hiding in the shadows, the scared little one that was mistaken. There is nothing wrong with this little one, the one who learned to shame herself. It was the most powerful thing she could do because she didn't have control over what was happening. It was a way to feel some power when she was so helpless. And now, it's time to set it down, little one. We have so many more tools to use. We can set it down and pick up a new tool.
Now, I realize that "Set It Down" is another tool. I thank the little one for teaching me to listen and set it down. And as a result, another part of me in is the light, no longer hiding in the shadows. All of me is ready to move into my day knowing I am enough. I am enough. You are enough. We are all enough.