The Wisdom Of Shame


As awareness, as pure creativity, you are unlimited.

Yet as a creature, as a human being, you are ... limited.

Wait. Listen. Don't be so quick to judge 'limitation' as negative or depressing. Or a mistake. Or 'less than'. Look closer.

This animal body will die. Get infections. Lose its strength. Organs will fail. Even with the best of intentions, the most positive thinking, it can't do everything the mind fantasises about. The Law of Attraction collapses in the end, into its own Source. This is what the Buddha was teaching. Impermanence. A deep reverence for endings. A willingness to sanctify the broken things, as well as the pristine things.

If you lose touch with your human limitations, you move quickly into arrogance, ego, superiority, unhealthy ambition. You lose humility, that awesome sense of your place in a vast and mysterious universe. So much beyond your control. So much you don't know. So much you'll never experience.

Shame - in its purest form - is not a toxic emotion! It is so, so healthy to feel some shame. Shame keeps us grounded. Shame is here to remind us that we are not All-Powerful. That we are divine, yes, but exquisitely imperfect humans too. That our failures, mistakes, doubts, screw ups, our discomforts and our frustrations are also Holy and worthy of the greatest love. Shame keeps us humble, awake, alive, even courageous, if we can listen to it.

If we banish shame, if we push it underground, we also banish this humility, this reference for life itself. If we banish shame, we banish compassion, our ability to be kind to ourselves and bow to the faults in others too. We become hard on ourselves and each other. We strive for an impossible perfection and - ironically - shame ourselves and each other into unhappiness. We say "I AM BAD", instead of "I am human and imperfect and exquisitely sensitive and I hurt sometimes and that is so damn okay in the eyes of God...".

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. We may be divine but we are also exquisitely human. We are capable of great things, yes. Yet, without contradiction, we must keep returning, relentlessly, to this place of deep humility. To know that we do not act or create alone. That we are also dependent, that it's okay to ask for help, that there is beauty in our vulnerability, great power in our brokenness, strength in our surrender.

Then we can actually bless our imperfections, see our f*ck-ups as holy, instead of evidence of our failure. Limitations are not actually limiting! They are reminders of this Unlimited love that holds the stars and holds us too, rendering us worthy even when we stumble and fall and cry out, "Father, Mother, where are you...?".

Let yourself be limited today and remember the Unlimited love that pulls you towards the Earth like gravity.

~ Jeff Foster

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