Everyone knows the pain of having a shame attack, whether standing in front of a painting or in some other part of life. But how often do we consider the gift we may receive if we meet that shame directly?
An excerpt from Awakening Through Shame . . .
I have come to recognize that shame is an important moment when it arises in the painting experience. It's a time of deep personal doubt triggered by an event: It's triggered by the image or the content of the painting that you have just created but it goes way beyond that; it's not about that ultimately.
It’s about our identification with form. In other words, here is this form we have created, and we deem it not good enough and we feel deeply shamed because it's not good enough, we feel not good enough. There is this constant dance around this process of identification: Now I am feeling good about myself because I like my painting, and now I feel horrible about myself because I do not like my painting.
We are experiencing, first hand, the very core of this process of self-identification. Of course, it goes beyond the painting; the painting is just the surface at the moment that we project this sense of self on that we are doing. It’s not the painting; it's the action of self-identification. And by witnessing the shame, by coming up and being able to hold it and have it, to experience, to not move away from it, to not try to fix it, there is something that happens in that act of “being with.”
In the very act of witnessing there is an awakening. The ability to witness means that there is something beyond shame, there is something that is looking at the shame and therefore is not the shame. The more we are able to be with the intensity and to sit in the fire of shame, the more we are able to experience that which is not defined by form, that which is not defined by anything—that we are neither good nor bad because of what is in front of us, whatever the object is.
Listen to learn more!