The end of the week. Five shifts, the closer every night, over. There's the sense of shame I feel, and I do yoga in order to clear myself from it. When, where, did the sense of shame enter in? I put the review of my book by Kirkus Indie on my FB page. It's not a particularly flattering review, though it could be worse.
Are you to be ashamed of what you wrote? If you do feel that way you're only more likely to feel more shame, and continue with shameful things, and never get out of the perverse cycle. You'll start to feel bad about yourself, bad about almost everything, and that's not good.
So, in order to exorcise the shame, you have to come out as a writer. You're your own kind of writer, like Emily Dickinson, like Melville was. You have to admit you're not perfect, but that you made an effort, and that it is the effort which counts. You wrote a book.
That's what you always battle, the feeling of shame. It takes your mom sometimes to tell you that you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. And that helps.
The spiritual, the sexual, the physical, the intellectual, all part of the forces to harness and use to be in the world and to help it. I feel off balance when I get through the workweek, mine, such as it is. I tend to feel that sense of shame, even though I know I've been good to people, helped them through their week. But maybe I've put too much of my energies into it, not a balance of them. I've hustled like a lackey. I've hidden much of my native intelligence, listened politely, as if there were little room for me and my own thoughts there at my place of work. I have to be too agreeable, put up with too much. Or I simply don't know where work ends and I begin, and through long habit I give in and blend in, all too well, who's to say. It all can seem fine going through it all, perhaps a little extreme, strange, an odd thing, leaving one alone all by himself turning the restaurant's lights out once again, once again. One can be too much a gentleman in such a line of work.
So you do yoga, as if to clean yourself out. Meditate, and listen to chakra balancing music. I've done my headstand, lotus, warrior, down dog, shoulder stand, plow.
The shame of working, or not working, the night shifts, that shame doesn't help me overcome them.
That's the vulnerability, feeling ashamed. That's where the unhappiness began. It hurts to think about it, but maybe that's the psychological point I had to realize to overcome, the feeling of shame leading to feel ashamed.
And then, after the depression, you finally get around to shoring up those boundaries, reestablishing the self, the writer, who you are, and often times that sort of a thing is only allowed on the last of the three-day weekend. Five times closing... Just getting groceries is hard enough. Still your day starts with someone trying to call you in, which goes a long way to ruining the sanctity of that day.
It is the writing itself which gets you past that, as walks in the woods help, as yoga and exercise and quiet seems to help. Space. The space to write those crucial few sentences that lead to other ones, that shouldn't be scrapped even if they are just notes and scribbles, jottings hopeful for resolution, as they are guides in the dark place, in the Dante dark forest in which one is lost, beams of light pointing somewhere.
The worst thing you can do to a young developing person is make them feel ashamed of themselves when they are in that phase of discovery and experimentation, trial and error. That's what education is about, protecting the individual.
Feeling a sense of shame, one retreats into the nighttime. And then, following that is there something of Jonah in that, the knowledge that one is trying to hide from God himself? Feeling ashamed is no way to live.
When people say hurtful things, of course we react and internalize. It's human nature. Of course people are vulnerable. Is it their fault if they react? We are vulnerable creatures who can be easily hurt. Thankfully we are also made strong and resourceful.