Blame… or Shame?

“Hypocrisy is the outward acknowledgement of inward shame.” —Norm MacDonald

All blame is a form of hypocrisy; blame is simply our shame pushed outside. “I’m unhappy, so it must be someone else’s fault,” we tell ourselves. And the more we blame others, the less we change… leaving core issues unresolved.

Shame lies within us all, protecting us from parts of us that we were taught were unloveable. Parts we deny, try to hide… mostly from ourselves. Yet if we have even one part of ourselves that we consider unloveable, we unconsciously consider our whole selves unloveable.

Isn’t that the biggest shame of all… to not feel worthy of love? Others might not be able to see what we’re hiding, but they can certainly tell that something is wrong with us… that we have a fear of intimacy, that we don’t feel loved.

So… there’s a hard way and an easy way to uncover our core shame. The hard way is to keep blaming others, which means we have to continually find scapegoats to make ourselves feel good… and we never heal, never feel loveable… and never realize that the problem is ours. The easy way, on the other hand, is to stop, look and listen: every time we’re about to blame someone, we say (at least mentally), “They do such-and-such… as do I.”

Try it. If we’re attentive, we’ll suddenly see that same part of ourselves hiding in the dark basement, waiting for us to love it. They’re not a good planner? Maybe our spontaneity was squelched at a very young age. They’re not clear about what they want? Maybe we weren’t allowed to speak directly. They’re not working hard enough? Maybe our inherent playfulness was crushed. They’re not as perfect as you? Maybe we weren’t allowed to make mistakes.

Certainly, no one taught us that these could actually be good, normal traits. In any event, if we can’t love this part of ourselves, then why should others be allowed to love that same part of themselves? Why should they get to do what I wasn’t allowed to?

Do we see the connection? Why else would we project ugliness onto other people?

Shame is never easy to confront. We need to break our false pride, that part of ourselves that insists, “look… they do it, but I don’t.” We cannot do this alone; we need to ask for help. It takes humility, courage… and self-honesty. We say to our “broken” part, “Please forgive me for not being able to love you. I am trying my best. O Universe, if you can’t help me love that part, please help me to at least love the part of me that can’t love this defect, the part that judges myself for having it.”

This self-compassion eases the standoff. Then help is on the way; know that the aid you seek will be swiftly brought to you, either in the form of a person, book or movie. You’ll see the innocence of that lost part… its true beauty! Only by end-running the mind can we ever melt the hard shell coating of hidden shame. Without denial and self-importance, we can finally break the chain of sadness and hypocrisy… and a most tender reunion within is possible.

You’ll see. Every time we invite forgotten parts of ourselves back to the “lovable” pile, we increase our capacity to let ourselves be loved. The whole Universe wants to love us, in fact does love us… right this very second! The only thing blocking us from knowing that is our pesky hidden shame.

O Bursting Heart, aren’t you proud of me for freeing you?

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