Shame & Creativity

I just had a very interesting experience with shame and creativity.

I woke up this morning with an inspiration in me, it didn't yet manifest, so I picked up my guitar, a pen and a pad and started to write. At first I wanted to make it rhyme, but soon found that doing so was actually locking me into a stuck place rather than helping the flow unfold. So I scratched that idea and started to write what came to me and put some music to it all.

It felt great to write it, it felt great to play it, and it felt great later in the morning to record it. Then I thought that I would send it to some of my friends, and as I was entering their emails, I started to feel shame. A LOT of shame. Not the humiliation kind of shame, but more like the awkward giggly embarrassment.

Shame stops us from following our interests, dreams and desires - it's a biological survival mechanism that creatures like moths don't have. If a month had the biological shame, it would not keep flying toward the fire, but instead when it got burned the first time, it would feel the affect of shame that would interfere with the interest affect (good book on shame & affects: Shame & Pride by Nathanson).

So I decided not to click the "Send" button just yet and be with shame and appreciate it, dance with it, and try to see what it has to offer. I called Beth (bethreuter), and we had a lot of fun talking about this. Do I care what others think of me? As much as I would like to say "No, I don't give a damn about others' judgements," apparently I do.

The song doesn't have rhymes, it's a rough recording, oh it's not this or too that, blah, blah, excuses. I gave up on the excuses part - I knew I wanted to send it, and just decided to be with the experience. Feeling exposed, showing my inner self, allowing others to not accept me, and be vulnerable to feel it all completely.

So anywhoo, here is the song (attached) - it's about the our silly denial of love :-)

Love & Light,

bethreuter's picture

Hi Andrey,
thanks for posting your experience with shame and working through the feeling. Your ability to be and share vunerability is inspiring!

ps - I experienced some shame about the validity of my comment - but I'm gonna post it anyway, lol

andrey's picture

Wohoo! Yay for being with shame!


UrsulaD's picture

Hi Andrey,

Thank you for sharing your beautiful heartfelt music!

I think most of us have a problem with shame where we are afraid to share our innermost feelings in fear of being laughed at. Vulnerability is scary!!

Love you

Max's picture

Why oh why, at this stage of the game do we still fear others? I will admit that it is comforting to know that I am not alone on this one. Let's all keep opening up here - where we know that we are loved and accepted - and then it will be easier to do elsewhere
You must feel so free right now. I intend to find that also!

Thanks again, Andrey. Here comes that love, straight from my heart to yours. Max

JoyAnna's picture

Yes, Andrey. That shame stuff is such a hard one for a lot of us. I have even tried to pass it off as shyness, but now recognize that it is really shame. Thank you for describing your process. May we all reach that point of self love that we can then pass Love on to others. And I enjoyed your guitar and your voice, and who says a song or poem has to rhyme?


andrey's picture

I heard this story not too long ago about someone interviewing people in their 80's and up, asking them that if they had to live their life all over again, what would they do differently? Very few said things about money, career and other material matters. Most said that they wished they loved more boldly and didn't let shame or fear stop them from expressing their love and follow their dreams.


I've actually been looking for shame lately. If there's shame, there's something really interesting that it's covering up. Almost always when I have found shame and moved towards what brings it about it's been a mind-and-heart-opening experience.


So, look for shame, it has gifts to offer!


Love, Andrey.

Hey Audrey,


you have described your experience so well and as I can see by the other posts many of us have had similar feelings. I had never really isolated the shame component before, definitely not so clearly.
I have had some thoughts on the "caring what others think" part. New thoughts......

I think I saw that you like anime.......? did you ever watch Neon Genisis Evangelion, sorry, I have nerd tendencies........see the shame!....Lol..........toward the end it got pretty heavily into "who are we". It was playing with perception. Are we really who we perceive ourselves to be....or is our true self more the perception of our spouse, mother, friend..... that person who knows you better than you know yourself, or are we a combination of our perceptions and the perceptions of all those around us. Then again maybe our "true" self is beyond all that, beyond our physical bodies, emotions, the current chemical balance in our bodies, time and space......

I think we have a true self beyond this world/life but that in this life the true self I seek is the one that I can find in this body subject to the "pollution" of life and subject to the powers of manifestation that come with it. Thats the fun part.....I think that the true self that I am in this world/life is as much subject to the "manifestation" of others, thru their perceptions of me, as it is my own.

Where is this going, where did it come you care what others think of your song? according to you, you would like to think you don't but apparently you do.....I understand that, I think many of us would but why do we do it, it seems very natural.

I don't think I would "care" what someone thought if I could trust that they would not judge "ALL OF ME" on it. So I could get away with showing it to people who know me well, who this represents a small almost insignificant bit of "who I am" to them. But for people I don't know so well, who don't know much of me, people who I'm not sure will "take this right"...?...scary... I think the fear isn't that they won't like the song, that's cool, but if it changed their "total" perception of me, in a negative way......... that I would care about and as much as I might like to tell myself I don't......I can't. I CARE!!!!!

Following my earlier wanderings, if even only part of me is made or influenced by the perceptions of others then its probably right for an alarm to go off in my head if I am doing something that could change how I am perceived. I should care about and "guard" the perceptions that I generate around me. I am responsible to them..............yeah?

We are all one?

Aren't we?

We cannot help but influence and be influnced by each other in the most fascinating ways.........

davelambert's picture

Andrey, I really LIKE that recording! I hope you don't mind me saving that to my computer. I like the sound of the spoken blank verse over a kind of samba. And I want to see if I can pick up some of that guitar technique.

And I found your thoughts about shame quite interesting, not least because they took me in an unexpected direction. Familiar I am with most of the feelings and thoughts you expressed but it had never occurred to me, I think, to use that word in defining them. You're using the word in an old-fashioned way, which I like.


andrey's picture

Hi Jez,

I do like anime, I think it is very artistically expressive. I haven't seen the Neon Genesis Evangelion, but there are some videos on youtube, so I'll check it out.

I know what you mean about sharing yourself with people that know and love you. With some of my friends I feel like I can be silly, share whatever comes up and I don't care too much about how I come out looking to them, because I know that we love each other regardless.

Being on stage is another story - I've had a very shame-filled experience recently doing an open mic at an Irish pub (I don't drink or smoke myself and sometimes find it a little hard to be around).

I did a counseling session exchange with a friend today and did a little meditation journey work. There seems to be a part of me that is very child-like - The Child I may even call it that. That's the part that knows about trust, love, connectedness, being, contentment, anger, passion, sadness and all the great stuff we might call "Life". Then there's a more adult part of me (I saw these two interact very distinctly between each other), which behaves very strangely. It's full of survival mechanisms, and it's very goal-oriented. In fact, when it gets hung up on something that it thinks is "important", it completely shuts everything else off, which includes abandoning the child part. It's a real trip to experience that inside of me, as I tend to spend more time as the adult rather than the child.

I hear what you're saying about being influenced by others. It feels like when there is the opening and love towards them, I feel more myself. I feel more connected, more grounded and more independent at the same time.

I had a dream/vision recently where there were many enlightened beings such as Krishnamurti, Amma and Satchidananda. They were all pulling this string, which somehow symbolized my guitar string as I was playing it. They all were full of joy and serenity and they all had one quality in common - they were completely shameless. The look in their eyes went so deep in the unshakable acceptance that just the sight of it moved me to the core.

Looking forward to talking on this more!

Love & Light,

andrey's picture

Hi Dave,

I don't mind you saving the recording at all. Here is a link to download my latest CD:

The rhythm is kind of an Improv-Bossa-Nova, maybe I'll video myself sometime and post it here.

I've just recently started to look at shame in that light. I always thought of it as fear before. There's an element of fear in there for sure, but just to feel the fear with no context to work with was not very helpful for me. Looking at it in terms of shame provided me with venues of working with something I've always experienced, but could never access.

It's like that with a lot of the transformational work that I do. There's this big black box that we can call "fear" or "anxiety" or "depression", and we can stare at it in the face and not be able to do anything about it. We can pretend it's not there, but that won't make it go away - it'll actually make us "go away", but when we "come back" there it is again. The key is to start to figure out what's in the box. Shake it, play with it, knock on it, see if anyone knocks back from it, is that something alive in there? Can it communicate? Can we develop a relationship? Basically trying to do anything and everything to try to find out what's in the box instead of staring at it and theorizing about what might be in it.

In my Radical Counseling training we're doing a lot of in-the-moment non-verbal ways to work with our challenges. First, do something to bring it in the session, which is not too hard as the session usually reflects the content, and then play with it in the now.

I love to do this with my friends. Just recently I talked with a close friend of mine, and as we were talking about shame, importance of expression and all that, I saw how it was all mental and high-minded abstract thinking. Some shame come up, I paused, went towards it and said, "Taking what we're talking about into the now, I'd like to share something with you. Joanne, I love you and appreciate having you in my life so much!" I felt so many things melt and both of us dove into such a deep and sensitive space! It's such a simple thing, and it completely changed our communication that very moment!

Love & Light,

--- Post removed at author's request ---

fredburks's picture

I just love this awesome conversation. Because of the rather intense arrogance I brought into this life, it is very hard for me to get in touch with shame, yet I so see the value of this. Now if you want to talk about judgment!!! I'm sure I could do a good job of being the one causing shame ;o) Thankfully, I get no joy from that. I love how we are all supporting each other here. Yummmmmm!!!

With sacred love flowing,

davelambert's picture

Hi Andrey,

I'm enjoying this conversation too, and thank you for the music! I've downloaded the zip file and will listen to it a little later. I know I'll like it!

Recently I ran into an old high school friend who stayed with music. He gave me a CD I'm absolutely in love with. All instrumentals, with some scat singing. Back in the 60s we had our high school bands. Andy stayed with it. He's good.

I'm fascinated by the way we use words. You're talking about shame in ways that make me think. Shame is one of those red-flag emotions that tell us we need to check ourselves. It gives us opportunities for self-improvement. These days we're so stuck on the value of the individual, it may be that there's not enough shame in the world. We haven't been taught to check ourselves for virtue.

As for the black box, I thought of Schroedinger's Cat. You know there's a cat in the box, and the only way to find out if it's alive or dead is to open the box. Until you do, both the live cat and the dead can exist as potentialities. Then there's the question of baggage. Does the box have a handle? If so we're in danger of carrying it everywhere forever. If it doesn't, many folks will run down and have one installed.

We cling to our baggage. It's ours! No one else can have it! Sometimes we get wise enough to simply set it down and walk away.


andrey's picture

I love that poem. It comes to me every once in a while and every time it goes in very deep. Thank you for sharing it!

On that note, I'd like to invite you all to participate in something a little on the radical and transformational side. It's wonderful to talk about the past and learn from it, but there's nothing like doing something right here and right now.

As this discussion is not the same as a live experience with in-person where there are all sorts of things to try and do in the moment, this presents a little difficulty. I welcome your ideas as to how we can make this happen.

I would like to invite us all to bring shame into the moment, play with it and experience it as it's happening. One of the funny things about shame, is that we're often ashamed of being ashamed! So I would like to challenge all who are willing, and ask you to answer the following questions:

The Challenge:

  • When do you feel shame? What are you ashamed of doing or expressing?
  • What does shame feel like to you? Please describe what happens in your body, mind, your feelings, thoughts and emotions? What does the whole experience of shame feel like?
  • When were you able to move beyond shame? What brought it about? What was different? How did that feel?

And by shame here I mean many emotions that have shame at their core - not just the "shame" emotion. Shyness, embarrassment, humiliation, awkwardness, etc - all the works!

One interesting thing in doing work on shame is that we often think that we're the only ones who feel that way, where as in reality it's a very common human experience.

I'm looking forward to our exploration of this together, and welcome your suggestions and challenges to help us all grow!

Love & Light,

--- Post removed at author's request ---

andrey's picture

When do you feel shame? What are you ashamed of doing or expressing?

Last week when I performed at the Starry Plough and the crowd was drinking, talking and not paying attention. I felt disconnected from the drummer, the crowd and from my feelings, anxious, rushing through, trying hard to tune into the crowd and find the flow in my music.

A few days ago when I was dancing and with a look invited someone to dance with me, and she just walked away (she actually went to get a drink of water and later did want to dance with me, but I didn't know that at the time). It felt like a sink in the heart, some kind of hurt. I tuned into my own dance shortly, but for a few moments the shame was definitely there.

Few days ago when I sent the song I composed to a bunch of friends (described in detail above).

Yesterday when I wrote an email to a girl that I saw perform at the Starry Plough, who had an amazingly beautiful voice, asking her if she wanted to get together and do some music.

Today when I dressed "homy" (totally not street-kosher) and stepped outside to watch the world and get some sun while pealing a kiwi. People would surely think of me as a slightly crazy person, but then again, this is Berkeley. It was interesting just to stay there and feel some shame on purpose.

I'm quite comfortable with nudity, but shame does come up around the thought of being seen aroused in public.

Even more more so shame comes up with showing my sadness and anger to others.

What does shame feel like to you? Please describe what happens in your body, mind, your feelings, thoughts and emotions? What does the whole experience of shame feel like?

To me shame feels like a foggy cloud of dumbness and awkwardness that descents onto my whole being from the great all-powerful heavens all of a sudden. My mind goes blank, I loose touch with my thinking/intellectual abilities, blushing in the face, wanting to look away. There's something inside of me that's afraid of shame, afraid of loosing control, so there's this gripping "grabbing for straws" feeling of wanting to get a handle on the situation by suppressing/denying shame and other emotions. If it's something that's not serious, there's a silly child-like giggling sensation and smiling while being in this cloud.

When were you able to move beyond shame? What brought it about? What was different? How did that feel?

This happened a number of times, though all were fleeting moments that passed like sand through fingers. This incredible experience feels like a deep grounding and liberating lightness at the same time. There is an acceptance of everything - of fear, of anger, sadness, all emotions, everything that is alive inside and outside. There is no "looking away", there's just pure experience of what is and total connectedness with everything and everyone.

What brings it about? How can shame be transformed and become love?

It's by NOT: running away, looking away, pretending that it's not happening, getting lost in a distant dream away from reality, rationalizing it away, staying in the abstract, hiding my feelings, acting like everything is "fine", pleasing others.

And it's by: speaking my truth, being vulnerable and open, sharing what really means a lot to me with those who may not accept it, allowing others to have judgments, embracing others' struggles and supporting them in facing their own challenges, accepting all of myself exactly how I am regardless of preconceived notions of how I "should" be.

And in reality, how do I bring it about? I guess there's no real manual on this - just go towards the edge, be open and vulnerable, and make love with the storm!

Love & Light,

P.S. I read this radical paraphrased quote somewhere:

 "Extreme results don't come without extreme actions.
 Find what you love and let it kill you."

davelambert's picture

What does shame feel like to you? Please describe what happens in your body, mind, your feelings, thoughts and emotions? What does the whole experience of shame feel like?


Andrey, I've been pondering how and whether to comment on this since last night. The reason is that your comments on shame didn't seem to resonate with me at all. I just don't have those feelings (so I said to mysefl), or when I do, I don't call them shame. Embarrassment, or perhaps chagrin, if the lady doesn't think I'm cute enough to dance with. (Actually she may be smart - I'm a lousy dancer). Disappointment perhaps, if my friends don't like my poem or painting.

To me, shame is a specific indicator of a need for redress on my part. It tells me I have done something so off-the-path that I must take action to remediate the consequences for others and myself. Many years ago I shot a dog. That is something I am deeply, deeply ashamed of. But I'm not ashamed of myself because the girl looked at my short self and sneered. So as I said in my first comment, the way we use words is fascinating and powerful. I'm not saying the way you define shame is wrong, far from it. But if you fine-tuned your responses, you might not experience so many pangs.

Shame is an affirmation that our conscience is in working order. It is not the same as Being Shamed, which is a powerful group tool for regulating behavior. Some people feel shame over different things - a common one being, as you mentioned, nudity. We've all had those dreams of sitting in class nude or in our underwear, because that fear operates at so many levels. And yet models overcome it - I was thinking of life-drawing class, but obviously the same applies to pornography. We're afraid of being stripped bare on many levels beyond the physical.


When were you able to move beyond shame? What brought it about? What was different? How did that feel?

I experience shame when I know I have erred and I know I knew it at the time. I have left the path, and must return to it. Moving beyond shame requires self-love because first of all you must forgive. Next comes full responsibility. I feel shame for others when I know they are acting in a way that is unworthy of who they are. Again: first forgiveness, before anything else. And then, full responsibility - not for their actions but for how I let them affect MY life and MY actions. This resolves shame. It may not eliminate it - it has been nearly forty years since I shot that dog and it still tears at my heart - but it's history, part of the things I had to pass through to learn the real meaning of life. So while I am still ashamed of having done that, I have forgiven myself long ago, and it does not haunt me. (Now that I've brought it up, it will haunt me once again for a little while. I'll dance with that, and let it go, like the girl in the bar who WAS friendly).


Keep working with this, Andrey. You are exploring dimensions of your consciousness that are plainly very meaningful to you. Work through it. Write songs about it (I bet you have already). Examine your definitions; I find I define shame differently than you. And consider how you apply your definitions of words and concepts: do you let them define you?


There have been times in my life when I found I was deeply ashamed of who I was. Once or twice I had the opportunity to reflect on this while sitting in a jail cell, but more often it was that I had followed an easy path and did not like where it had brought me. At such times I have confronted the question "Who am I really?" In retrospect I recognize shame as a powerful incentive and a positive emotion. It's positive because it betrays the presence of the higher self, the one that "just knows" right and wrong. Just look at the many, many people in public life, in prison, maybe next door, who have entirely lost the sense of shame. How sad for them, and for us. Shame is one of the brothers of virtue, whom it is not popular to speak of.


Last night I didn't think I could write about this. Obviously I was mistaken. Here's one of my lyrics, which relates indirectly....this is 30 years old or so. It's called Who Are We....


Sometimes the beauty of this life astounds me

And I feel my soul uplifted on wings of joy and love,

Sometimes the sadness of this world surrounds me

And I feel my heart constricted like a lost and shriveled glove.

Who are we when the wind blows,

Who are we when the tide goes,

Who are we, who are we, lost between the canyon and the sea.


Sometimes our finest days are the ones we've near forgotten

And the little things we carry are all that get us through,

Sometimes days best remembered are the ones spent near the bottom

When it seemed to matter nothing what we say or what we do.

Who are we when the stars fall,

Who are we when the angels call,

Who are we, who are we, dancing in the ebb and flow of time.




Hey Audrey,

I have really been enjoying everything in this blog. I found what Dave was saying to be very interesting.....thanks Dave.

Dude, this is huge and as you said, across the net...I can just give the general gist............Well try anyway........ I am totally open, nothing to hide, so you can ask me about anything if it doesn't make sense......

I think I know shame well! For me it is/was tied in with an inability to control certain aspects of my life but there is also a "thing" that tells me that it is weak to need or want?......

How has this manifested in me. I have never "picked" up. Not once. Lol....I have payed for sex..hang my head...Lol again! .was that or nothing? ..I get along with women fine, no obvious reasons for this, but if I show any "attraction" to them, they run so fast....and literally! Lol.....???people?? after 20 years of trying to get my head around this I can only love who I am, which I do, and accept that I would be nothing like this if I had ever gotten what I wanted. I laugh!

I did a few years ago try to manufacture a relationship. According to me it lasted for a week. That was as long as I could bullshit to myself. If you were to ask her it was 4 years in which while I had always been honest, I betrayed her because I didn't change the way she had dreamed quietly to herself that I would. I became responsible for her lies to herself! I won't ever try to manufacture another one. I have to be honest to myself and those around me. Even when it sux............

Shame totally dominated my life for over a decade, touched everything I did. I felt dirt, wrong.

But I do have a trick that helped me to survive....... Luckily I am a Gemini. There really are two of me. Sometimes I will switch instinctively, not in my control, other times I can just flick a switch. I add this because in dealing with shame I have often had to just switch and I can just turn everything off and do or go anywhere I really is a neat trick and I have it down pat these days.......In the middle of my worst nightmare situation I could feel no with it later, in private...

It has sent me on one crazy journey? Tore myself to shreds for a long time. Learnt lots. My parents seperated when I was 10. The only thing I ever wanted was a relationship, my own family. The one I had broke. I never expected it not to happen. So caught me off guard. It really has driven everything that I have ever done. Creativity!!!......the shit I have tried..........LoL.......

Fred once spoke to me of "control" and things like 5 year plans. I make no plans. I have no responsibilities as such, no mortgage, I live at my mums, no people that I am responsible to...... it has a boss at the job I had before this came to me oneday and asked me to do something that he shouldn't have. I did it, then I handed in my reisignation. He had crossed a line and he was happy to do it because most people can't just walk on "principal", I can........I only need to be able to take care of myself. Not my plan, but how it is.

The feeling that I am not in total control of my life has "led" me to the more spiritual beliefs. In the end I didn't get anywhere until I stopped fighting to control my life. The more I fought the more I tore myself down. In the end I had no choice but to let go. I feel I go where I am sent, see what I need to see, long before I realised I had a problem I believed I was here for a specific purpose. I trust that when the time comes I will be ready, I will have all the skills that I will need, whatever they turn out to be.............

I wrote earlier that I love who I am. It was pointed out to me by one of the people I am guiding thru the course. He wasn't being clever, "you love yourself" he was genuine and he was right. I'm not sure exactly when that happened but it did.....slipped by me and I hadn't noticed before.........

In short -

when do I feel shame, when ever I perceive myself as "inadequate" "broken" or just that "there is something wrong with me" ...........

What are you ashamed of doing or expressing, needing, wanting........

What does shame feel like to you, dirty! I feel like I am incomplete, embarrassed, worthless.

Please describe what happens in your body, mind, your feelings, thoughts and emotions? What does the whole experience of shame feel like? draining, testing, doubting, questioning, illogical, victim, weak, powerless, gutless, wrong, and in the end ENOUGH!

When were you able to move beyond shame? Not sure exactly when and I don't believe in black or white but.............when I stopped trying to control my life, when I stopped judging my life against the norm....

What brought it about? I "lost" was well and truly beat!..........Couldn't fight anymore...................

What was different? ? maturity, experience, trust in myself, opened my heart for a moment., stopped hiding for a moment....acceptance of all things, the bigger picture.....

How did that feel? freedom....................a weight was removed ............



andrey's picture

Hi Jez,

I resonate with many things you have said.

I definitely feel that we are given exactly what we need and can handle at exactly the right time, and all the best things that happened to me came completely unforeseen and unexpected through Divine Intervention. When it's time for something to happen, the Universe is all-powerful, and it's a blast to watch a wave unfold when the doors are open and you are ready!

For years I've been fascinated with death. It's interesting that you mention giving up and loosing. I too noticed that at some points in my life there comes a small death - a letting go and surrendering that has nothing to do with conscious effort. Then things flow, I can move beyond my fears, and there's a quality of such beauty to everything in life.

I'm curious to hear about your Near Death Experience. Since I had my Out of Body Experience I wanted to die because it was so beautiful until only a few years ago, when I really started to embrace and appreciate being in this world!

I think Death, Identity and Shame are all tied in together somehow. I can probably find logical ties, but I know that doesn't actually change anything on the inside - true understanding and transformation must be experienced.

I also find it interesting that some people seem to not have the shame thing in them that much at all - Fred and Dave, for example. Both have "Arrogance" as their Core Challenge! And I would like to say that both probably have a strong and fairly stable sense of identity.

From my personal experience I've noticed that people who are more sensitive, emotional, dreamy and who are more easily affected by others' energies tend to have a more fluid sense of identity, and more issues with shame. While people who are more stable, grounded, body-physical-oriented and sure of who they are have much less issues with shame. I could be totally wrong on this one, but I think there's something here that has to do with shame and the sense of self.

Love & Light,

andrey's picture

Hi Dave,

Wonderful lyrics, thanks for sharing.

I think what you would call shame, I would call guilt.

Here's my ideas about how this works:

Shame is really core - it's a threat to our identity, to our sense of self. When we become involved in something and start to identify with it, it's sudden death creates a little death inside of us. I become identified with the idea that I'm a "good musician", then someone comes and says, damn, I think your music is too this or not enough that. My image of myself shatters, and it hurts. (There's a lot to be said as to why I gave someone the power to define who I am, but I won't go into that now).

Guilt on the other hand has shame as a part of it, but it's main distinction is that it's about something we do rather than being directly about who we are. Say I steal an apple from my neighbor. I feel guilty about it, I can't sleep at night, I start avoiding my neighbor because I can't look at him and pretend that everything is fine. So finally I bake an apple pie, bring it over to him for tea and tell him that I stole that apple. I feel so much better. Guilt in this sense is a lot easier to deal with - if it's something I did, I can do things to make it better. It is also much more socially tied in than shame. The Jewish guilt - "How can you do this to your poor mother", and the Christian - "What you have done is a mortal sin" - have been historically used to control populations from personal to regional, national and international.

So guilt ties in with shame - because of something I did, it makes me a <label goes here>, therefore I am not a good person or whatever else image I have of myself that just has been shattered by an inconvenient fact that cannot coexist with it. (But hey, denying that the fact exists sometimes works too - Earth is flat! Animals are not conscious and have no feelings! The people from that country are not really people. All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others!)

So anyway, I just wanted to clarity my definitions here, as we're all using same words and mean totally different things - good call, Dave.

Love & Light,

--- Post removed at author's request ---

Hi Audrey,

I've seen the new blogs that you, and Fred, have written and thought they were awesome. I don't feel I could really add much to that discussion but I am still playing with shame. Tonight I find that it is one of the rare times that I have the house to myself. It's a longweekend and I have the place untill tuesday.

I do have some shame about the fact that at the age of 37 I live at my mum's. In many ways I don't know who I am. I respect her and much of what I do is done to fit in here, not necessarily me or how I would do things. For me it is embarassing but I do understand how it all came about. I do feel that my reasons are reasonable etc, I can explain it so I'm not overly uncomfortable about it. Even now I choose to live here, but the fact that I don't really have a choice...the shame bit.

 This emabarrasment can distort when combined with my  "relationship" shame they can and do mingle and it does complicate things. not much I can do there,  just have to suck that one up.....I feel it when it is there...

I live here for purely financial reasons. well sort of..... I don't get the "homecooked meal", the all looked after, waited on stuff. Mum does do my washing but after that. I pretty much live in a shed out back, I sleep inside but I'm not really here in many ways.

  Ok just quickly to share a little of Australia "today" if I could, it's a rant you could skim this paragraph. With the way cash is working in australia these days my position is not uncommon. Housing, even rental has become incredibly unafforadable here, a quick example, my dad bought a house when I was 12 for $40,000. It also had very minimal taxes etc to go with that. I'm now 37, thats 25 years,  and while he doesn't live there anymore the house is now worth over $500,000. Then add the now massive taxes and all the other things they now have etc...? has it been the same in the US? .. Wages haven't gone with it here, well the top end has but for the average man that would hurt inflation and push up interest rates.....While not all houses have gone up that much my dads is nothing special....., I saw a story on TV yesterday, Australia now has the least afforadable housing in the western world.....apparently in the last 10 years our food, fresh food has gone up at twice the rate of the US and nearly four times the UK. In the last decade our government  took very good care of the "economy" and "big business". Good for us all apparently.......For 10 years business and goverment were let loose!....the economy is great because taxes have soared, business owns everything and can charge what they like and in the end the guy at the bottom has never been lower ...the economy especially likes that!... now they worry about a bust......who will they expect to carry it?

sorry a real rant and probably just excuses for my position I know but as this is where I sit I see what is presented to me, I know how I could get here and in the "big" scheme of things I understand what has been done to many people, we have been led poorly! Sold out really! So on living here I am actually pretty cool, just embarassed at times.

Here's the thing, my mum has a defacto, Ian. since I was 10. He is not actually violent, but very aggressive. The only thing I will really give him credit on is he did give up alcohol. He was a bad, nasty alcoholic. I grew up with that. He is basically the reason I  live in  a shed. He definitely doesn't want me here.

I have only ever moved out twice. Each time when I came back I found that he now spoke to and treated her, like a dog!.......I would like to think I treat my dog better actually. It didn't take long when I returned for him to "tone" it down. I don't need to do or say anything, he just knows it's wrong and "covers" it up, for the most part. On a very few occasions, only 3 that I can remember we have butted heads........he is bigger, more aggressive, he came at me, but on those occasions he has in the end backed down. I have never been in a "punch up" in my life, never needed to......but he could see I would not backdown..........My mum is responsible for her choices, people in her life etc I offer her advice, support but I stay out of things, respect........well thats what I tell myself.....he doesn't really work has already blown half her "payouts" from recent years, he is even getting a dissability pension these days I believe, still works every now and then, he's a builder.......get the idea on the guy......always some great scheme to make hard work required.....just some cash up front...

Ok my shame.........I'm sure I'm doing the right thing but it is hard as a "man" to let someone manipulate your mum by screaming,  that she is a fucking stupid bitch who..........maybe 5 minutes solid.....probably 2 or 3 times a year it gets to that bad, last one just before sister sold her car to his son, he never payed, drove it for over a year, she asked for it back, he had stopped using it. So Ian attacks my mum. He wanted to dump it on his farm!. My sister got it back.....wasn't my mum's to give it to him.

He always does this to "take" from her, when all else has failed he goes to that, and eventually even tho she often fails to see it, he usually gets what he wants......except of course when it comes to me, she won't throw me out......sorry a smile on my face....the other bit I like is that because he is always home, he actually does my washing! Lol....... 

 But yeah, I sit here, give her all the "good" support possible, I never tell her what to do. I don't "challenge" him, and he treats her like crap most of the time. well a lot anyway...... I can't help but feel I let that shit happen! No crap, more than anything he is why I live here.......I see it as I "fly cover"? but of late I feel a change........the bummer is that he is really in her head at the moment.....

I can see, it's all in place, that my finances could change. As I have said before I do feel I go where I'm told, when it is right I will go, I feel it coming but not tomorrow, not next month even but I feel it....... I have been trying to make sure I can do it properly, I hate to plan but a year in the works this one is actually coming together. My boss has already commited himself to about $200,000 and within days will commit to that again and a little more, all based around my "new" and "inovative" design. I think it's right but all bullshit aside I have seen many fail doing what I am trying to do....A company in the US that I had ties with years ago spent well over a million, just there developement cost!, and it completely failed developement costs, with my wages wouldn't have been $50,000.......Lol........I think it will work?......If it does I will eventually....Lol move out. I am still not comfortable with leaving her alone with him..

I guess I'm saying that my shame is in my "inaction". Maybe as a man, a son, I should have stepped in, maybe long ago, more likely I probably shouldn't have been here and just left her to deal with it...alone...I say that because I guess as I don't think he would hit her I feel she is "safe" but that implies emotional damge is less important...

 It all adds to the rich tapestry of me. My greatgrandmother lived to 105. She was cool! She always told me that nothing hurt more than losing your loved ones. She was wise....In the team we often look at how we deal with ourselves but for me much of who I am I have dedicated to the people around me. Have been happy to sacrifice it for them. How do you help another?, and if things are not good for them how do you totally pull yourself away from any responsibilty.....I should be able to help!...I believe that what I am doing is right, she has to take care of it herself so why the shame at what comes with that "correct" action.........


Take care,




When do you feel shame? What are you ashamed of doing or expressing?

When I hurt someone, when I call needless attention to myself or associates.

Inappropriate nudity: Shame

Aroused in public : Shame

Sadness in public: No Shame (unless inappropriate)

Anger in public: No Shame (unless inappropriate)


What does shame feel like to you? Please describe what happens in your body, mind, your feelings, thoughts and emotions? What does the whole experience of shame feel like?

Unsettling sinking feeling in pit of stomach, depression, insecurity


When were you able to move beyond shame? What brought it about? What was different? How did that feel?

I think the feeling gradually goes away over time.


Jez, I hear you on this.





Hi Mark,

Thanks for playing, I bought this old post up to see if anyone was still interested in diving within themselves and not just playing in the outside world of "conspiracy" etc....

I thought these were awesome questions put forward by Andrey and while I am uncomfortable about my very open comments now being accessible to anyone who searches the net I see this as a fear and am leaving my comments there....for the moment

I did have a bit of a nudity thing myself but then met Nada Cat who was a member here at the time and we went to a 6 day hippie nudist festival..very unlike me to do something like that...but.....was the coolest thing I ever did and healed me totally of nudity....not that you had to be nude, it was a choice thing but I am over it.....Nudity is cool! my shame on it completely....Lol....although I think I would have a problem if I was nude and arroused....thats a hard one...sorry for the pun....Lol






JoshERTW's picture

I write music when I feel the urge and have often felt shame in sending it out for people to listen too, especially if I write lyrics. I've always been very picky about my lyrics and have about 100 songs written that I've never recorded lyrics because the lyrics always seem to come from a very personal and emotional place and I just feel well... ashamed to throw them out in public. I think the time has come to get over that though, because I've recently come to the realization that music is probably a direct conduit between heart mind and higher conciousness for me. Every time I record something and go back and listen later I literally feel and increase in the vibration of my being.

Theres even this hour long drunken jam I did with some buddies in the summer and I go back and listen to it and get that same feeling, even though parts of it are certainly by most peoples standards "noise" haha. I think an imprint of your soul is left on something when you create it though, and as such it cannot be a bad think to express am I right?

andrey's picture

Hey Jez,

Thanks for sharing. It's hard to see someone you love be in distructive patterns. I had a friend like that, letting him go, get into drugs and not do anything about his life. He learned though. Through making his own mistakes, he is now is a much better place. By his own doing.

Nudity in public, no shame, but aroused in public... probably would feel shame... somehow it would feel "inappropriate", which I think is just another excuse for feeling ashamed. Hasn't happened yet, but who knows...



fredburks's picture

Yo Josh,

I suspect those very personal and emotional lyrics are what will most touch some people. Authenticity turns me on!

With much love and joy,

The Gathering Spot is a PEERS empowerment website
"Dedicated to the greatest good of all who share our beautiful world"