Shame and Humility – Humility – Part II

Welcome to my blog. Yesterday and today we welcome guest blogger Stan Stewart, who is talking about humility, the next topic in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. 

continued from yesterday’s introduction

shame
Besides fear, for me the most immobilizing feeling is shame. At least it feels that way.

When I feel shame, my most common expression of it is to hang my head and do nothing. Well, “doing nothing” is relative. What I do is judge myself or distract myself internally — usually with numbness.

I’m sure that shame could have kept me from embarassment or worse when I was younger. Suffice it to say that as an adult, shame does me no good.

When I re-discovered humility in spiritual readings recently, I had an epiphany that being humble looked similar to shame in some ways — at least on the surface. Both are about how “OK” I think I am. The step to humility is about realizing that I don’t need to think of myself as great in order to be okay.

The major difference is that shame and blame are so often tied together. If I think I’m being blamed (or judged, questioned, etc.), I may respond by feeling shame. This means that there is an external connection that I’m making to the catalyst for the shame. Ironically, while thinking that I’m being blamed, I then blame that same source for shaming me. So shame is other directed.
humility
Humility, on the other hand, has an internal source — and I’m thinking that “internal” can include self and divine influences. I am humble when I determine that I do not have to puff myself up in a situation or I am inspired (i.e., spirit has a hand in it) to address a situation with whatever I can bring to it, but without assuming that I am what the situation needs.

Said another way, when I come with attentive patience, I am humble.

My realization allowed me to see shame and humility as opposite sides of the same coin. When shame threatens to numb me out, I can invite humility as a spiritual practice to keep the questions internal, remove blame and accept responsibility. Time will tell how well I will be able to embrace this humble place.

May your shame be engulfed in humility in a way that comforts your inner child and welcomes the fullness of your adult to engage in the world.

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Guest blogger, Stan Stewart, is a musician, teacher, and technologist. As a certified InterPlay leader and lover of improvised music, Stan teaches and seeks integration of the whole self — experiencing body/mind/spirit as a whole rather than split parts of self — in the present moment.

He says, “What is happening for all of me right now is what I have to work with. I do my best to seek the kind of awareness that will allow me to experience and use all that’s available to me in this moment; and that can inspire me creatively and in my service to the world.”

Carolyn and Stan met on Twitter and now take their connection to the blogosphere with this guest post.

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Feelings Are Energy In Motion – Humility – Part 1

Guest blogger, Stan Stewart, is a musician, teacher, and technologist. As a certified InterPlay leader and lover of improvised music, Stan teaches and seeks integration of the whole self — experiencing body/mind/spirit as a whole rather than split parts of self — in the present moment.

He says, “What is happening for all of me right now is what I have to work with. I do my best to seek the kind of awareness that will allow me to experience and use all that’s available to me in this moment; and that can inspire me creatively and in my service to the world.”

Carolyn and Stan met on Twitter and now take their connection to the blogosphere with this guest post.


A few months ago, I wrote a post about “translating fear into creative energy“. It probably would have been more precise to call it “translating fear energy into creativity”. In that post, I said that — for me — feelings are energy in motion. This energy can then be used/ translated/ transformed into either positive or negative output (behavior).

Carolyn kindly commented on that post and expressed concern that calling for transformation of the emotional energy could be seen as calling for getting over the feeling. I fully understood her concern, so I started to reflect more on how to allow the feelings to “be” while also not becoming stuck in them.

I would definitely say that feelings should not be ignored or denied. They should be felt and acknowledged. For me, transforming them is a way of being attentive to my feelings.

Since my knee-jerk reactions so often turn emotions into what I later would label negative behavior, I proposed a way to help produce a positive output instead. I’ve had some success with this method and that’s why I wanted to share it. I also prefer creative over destructive outcomes, so I shared it for that reason as well. Part of the backdrop of my post is that I have a judgment that I — like many creative people — can become stuck in fear — or other emotions, like shame — and that this stuckness is not the optimal place for creativity. Creative work requires movement.

…more tomorrow…

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