Shame: a form of escape that cannot be escaped
Shame is one way our human bodies feel a perceived loss of any one of the three essential pillars of survival: connection, value, or physical security. It is a very strong feeling state that is inextricably linked to our social nature, which undoubtedly evolved to help human beings enhance group protection, productivity, and procreation. It can become a deeply disturbing feeling when a person senses that he or she does not "fit in" or have a valued place in a group. The body reacts to "escape" it by actively seeking ways to elevate one's status within the group or serves as motivation to leave to form/join another group. Or the disturbance is more passively communicated through physical/emotional expression and behavior, which may elicit empathetic responses from others.
With the growth of hierarchical societies, however, human beings' proclivity to feeling and reacting to shame became a convenient avenue of influencing (promoting or discouraging) their attitudes, actions, and, ultimately, their sense of self. Our institutions of business and industry have likewise built themselves around threats and promises that amplify fears and longings related to shame.
So we have created a shame-based world for ourselves. It should be no surprise, then, that we relate more to life through our suffering than our joy. Most addictions serve as an attempt to relieve ourselves from one discomfort or another, as though the answer lies in our escape from suffering, not Love.
LOVE leads us to joy ï»¿throughï»¿ our suffering
BUT HOW??? This is really challenging without a supportive group of fellow human beings and without a regular practice that can help us to "rewire" or "reprogram" our minds and bodies. Our bodies evolved to function best within groups of other human beings surrounded by the natural world, not as isolated individuals in "self-contained" cocoons or small family units. Our bodies also evolved to be extremely adaptable. This means that, over a period of time, we can effectively shift patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. We can transcend ingrained ways of defining ourselves. Will, choice, & practice it takes.
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