shame & self-sabotage - 4th group

Dangerous topic –
remembering shameful experiences can be upsetting
Balance by creating a healing space –
mini meditation with chakra reading at end of session

Q: current acting out behaviors?

Being raped as excuse for self-destructive behavior
Justify bad behavior
Sexual acting out
Excessive working out
Use of laxatives
Contemptuous judgments of others (self)
Body Dismorphic Image - distorted body image – too fat, old, ugly
Never good enough, critical, compare to other people
Lonely + different in childhood!
Shame about age & $$
Fear of relationships, intimacy –
fear of being sexually inept, not lovable
being “found out” for being “worthless”

I’m exactly who I am supposed to be
It’s hard to believe how lovely I am
I am allowed to be happy today

In response to childhood abuse issues that have come up
with the addict population I have revised the first chakra paper.
Please let me know how you like it!

Meditation and The Chakras

There is really nothing fancy about meditation – my cats do it all the time. Essentially it is about sitting still – with your eyes closed so you may ‘tune out’ the outside world and attend to your inner process. For one, you cannot do anything destructive during that time. Meanwhile you calm down, allow yourself to get centered, grounded, and aware of yourself. Keeping your back straight is helpful so you won’t fall asleep. Not that there would be anything wrong with that – it’s just not meditating. They say the chakras should be aligned in a straight line, meaning you sit with a straight back. Sounds easy enough – may take a few days or weeks until you begin to create joy and relaxation in this manner - we are so used to distractions. Meditating is about getting to know who you are without identifying with your behaviors or others’ reactions to you. If you do it every morning you will find it empowering and soothing.

Chakra is the Sanskrit word for ’wheel’. The chakras begin at the base of the spine and continue upward to the top of the head. People with psychic vision can see the chakras as rapidly spinning wheels of different colored light and interpret the state of our energy and implications for our health. The chakras are power centers in our body, each radiating a particular energy that is important to our well being. This ancient metaphorical system outlines our development throughout life towards higher levels of consciousness. Concentrating on one of the chakras (or all of them in sequence) can be a pleasant starting point for the meditation novice, for whom sitting still and doing nothing is too hard (!). Read one of the following papers on a chakra before you settle down for your meditation, do some conscious easy breaths or breathing exercises - imagine that you energize this chakra’s color by breathing into it until you make it glow. Let the essence of the metaphor work for you. Enjoy it, too!

The First Chakra
This is the energy of our genetic and tribal heritage. Physically, the tribal chakra is located at the base of the spine. It is connected to our immune system, bowels, and our legs and feet. The color associated with the first chakra is red. This level is our foundation – it provides us with a sense of identity, grounds us, and connects us with our family and beyond, with all mankind, and all of life. Our tribe teaches us what it means to be a human being, and this guidance accompanies us through adulthood. It is helpful to understand and embrace our ethnic legacy.

Belonging to a tribe also means that loyalty is rewarded and defiance to the traditional path is punished. Family life is not necessarily what we want it to be … Some of us have to survive abandonment and abuse and find it impossible to follow in the footsteps of their elders. Severing these life-sustaining ties can trigger fears of survival and requires courage and strength. Processing remembered psychological injuries takes time and perseverance. If we give in to our fears and avoid mastering this hurdle, we may get stuck in the victim role and even recreate our childhood issues throughout adult life.

Those of us who venture out into the world and become a stranger among strangers, may feel insecure or guilty about having abandoned our people, convince ourselves that the others are better than us and try to emulate them. The truth is – we can never be like them. We can respect people from different backgrounds, and we can learn from them. As a result, our life becomes enriched, more colorful, and interesting – and we raise our awareness about traditions and conventional living, socialization, styles of relating and communicating, and so much more.

If you come from a loving, supportive, and nurturing family, great. Pass on all the good you have experienced! If that’s not the case – look for a way to bless your own family! Do not rest until you see a way out of blame! Find a psychotherapist, teacher, mentor, sponsor, friend, whatever it takes. In the history of mankind, nobody has ever found happiness through resentments. Pray for their happiness – and you will find forgiveness. Take your spirit back from the error of perception that there was a mistake, that the circumstances you are faced with are wrong. Respect your heritage – even though human nature can seem incomprehensible and unacceptable at times. God has created all of us just so.

We don’t necessarily know why people did what they did to us. Always look for compassion! Sometimes it’s about claiming your right for happiness. It can be about standing up for yourself. It can be about introducing hope and change. Or it could be about endurance and finding a way not to do unto others what has been done unto us … with gratitude that you are not the one having done unacceptable acts. Be kind with your people! Leave them (as well as yourself) some room for growth and improvement! Everybody has their own life to live and their own path to follow.

Bless your family and your tribe! Feel yourself connected to the chain of life throughout the ages! As recipient of a legacy you embody the link to the next generation. It’s about what YOU do about the past and how you tie it to the future. Own what you got and consider the footprint you are leaving behind.

Today it’s your turn…