I heard a wise woman say that Shame is not about something you have done wrong, but that you are wrong. Also that we all have Shame, lurking, waiting at the edges of our pleasure and joy, the question is not do you have shame, but where, how much. How much pleasure can you take in before you hit that place? For some people, even the pleasureable sensations generated through touching an inanimate object – to be found just by really paying attention to the sensorial qualities of your hands – is enough to shut down. Part of why we fear expansion, exploration of pleasure and fullness is to avoid the challenge of feeling or encountering our Shame.
I’m coming to my mid thirties and I am not a mother. I am unlikely to be one in my life and I’d like to say I’ve come to terms with that; but the reality is more like I have to come to some acceptance of the complex mess of grief and relief.
Last month I had a breakthrough of sorts, I found a way to take back into myself the energy of my egg, my ovulation, it was a fierce dragon moment of fuck you biology – I will consume back in my own creative fire, for my own life, my own art, my own body. I will not cry into grief wells for the loss, the pointlessness, the sorrow of never being able to conceive with the man I love. I had an incredible month, a powerful menstruation, and a sense of growth. A glimpse that perhaps I don’t need a plan B, but there are alternatives to plan A – how to be a full woman who is not a mother. Even excited about the possibilities for my own creativity.
Still, I cycle round, and here I am, going deeper into the place where identity, body, purpose overlap. And this morning I found Shame. Shame about not being a mother. Shame about my empty womb. Shame because I am flawed, shame because I don’t deserve a child, shame because I am a disappointment to my ancestors. Disappointment to my mother. And yes…even a strand of Shame about pleasure in sex that is not procreative. Interesting. Shame, confusion, anger. Wanting to destroy myself, remove the mistake of me. Even Shame that I don’t have a higher opinion or understanding of other purpose.
To transform Shame, witnessing in loving open acceptance helps. This morning I will take a deep peering into myself, allow 10 minutes or so to see what’s squirming down there. Come out, come out Shamed One, let me see you, let me know you, let me love you.
You may speak.
“I am wrong. I was born wrong. I will die wrong. I will leave nothing of myself to follow. I tried to follow, to do, to achieve and none of it has turned out. No child OR career. Just a man, love for myself, how selfish. How selfish. I wanted to prove myself and I tried hard but I have failed. I am accomplishing nothing of note since anything but a child is pointless, and stupid. If i can’t do that I am nothing, I am nothing but a mistake. A mistake with no lineage no purpose, failing my duty failing my family..”
The words are hard to come but I see an image now, clearly, the small hopeless child-woman, held though by something large, huge, dark, male-monstrous…a shadow, holding her in his claw hands, there is a kind of tenderness in his hands but his eyes are bright and deadly, he would crush her in an instant. He is the ShadowKing. She is caught in his spell. He will not talk to me, only sneer, or he talks but his voice is so low and fundamental it’s hard to hear….. “She is mine. She will serve me. She will perform. She will do what I say. She will dance for me. She is on my strings. She is maid, she is vessel. I will use her as I see fit and throw her away…” As he speaks she seems to wither, pale, eyes like dark pools.
This is my Persephone, this is my Hades. He has her trapped down there, the child-woman. Around him are the chains of culture that shift to dark twisting snakes and back to chains and streams of media image…his Magic is vast, immanent, illusion that is made real through his will. There is no purpose to it beyond the prison-haven… I see ladders in the darkness that go to nowhere. I see men and beasts shifting and transforming back and forth,fucking, procreating, producing more, their eyes are only animal, it is darkly beautiful and more than that it is strong. It is biology and death, urge and unconscious. It is the structure that has been laid outside us and through us.
I picture Baphomet, first I see the classic images pasted around this dark place, then forming into solid dream. Baphomet is Not this Hades, they are not the same but they know each other. Baphomet has fire and stars in hir eyes, and looks into the death and power of Hades-Culture. Baphomet has love as well as will. “Love is the Law, love under will” there is warmth and sun, rainbows on the oil, the perfect fusion of the light-dark. In my mind I see them Merge, Hades-Baphomet, Culture and Magic, Baphomet is larger, consumes that ShadowKing, absorbs and holds it ALL. Goat-eyes burn one with red-phoenix fire the other goes into dark blue space and stars. Baphomet holds my ShameChild now. Baphomet with breasts and cock, nurture and will-vision. Steams of animal breath that smell of stables envelop her. Sparks of light dance on her skin. She starts to feel her body. She starts to move within. There is light and snakes around her, bright and shining. She is a Child of Magic. I hear her laugh. I see her hope.
The vision-dream starts to fade, something to return to and continue. Unexpected imagination realms of visuals today! These free flow imagery fills me with desire to create and draw art. This is my precious child that I have mistreated for years. I have a lot to learn about how to love her. But I see a path of magic. Hades-Culture-Biology, perhaps, holds a part of me but there are other, larger perspectives to hold myself in. I remember how I gave myself to Life aged 21. There are larger visions of, will, love, than those that are from our society-biology. I long for nature. I long for magic. I long to create without shame.