Arcanus

How to deal with intense shame about past self

16 posts in this topic

Like many others, I had a period of self-exploration and excessive hedonism in my early twenties. I've always called myself a spiritual person with ambitious ideals, but truthfully I was never very principled. I'm a sexual person, and possibly due to underlying self-hatred and shame stemming from childhood, rather masochistic. This combination of traits has lead to some unhealthy relationships, and perhaps as a results I sometimes I feel like I became more and more spineless and hypocritical over the years.

I have always struggled with my self-perception when it comes to shame and purity (or rather lack there-of in my case). I've always felt dirty and culpable, which in a way has been a self-fulfilling prophecy in how I've behaved in relationships. For a long time I would cope with this by seemingly embracing this "darker side" to myself. However, in the recent years I have realized that I was never really able to feel proud about myself, which has led me to want to change.

Recently I've been critically reading my old chat logs and journals and have had to face the fact that I've been extremely low-conscious in my past behavior, even more so than I ever admitted to myself before. I feel embarrassed about my past self-delusions. Despite always seeing myself as a spiritual and philosophically inclined person, I've acted trashy, sleazy, shameless and unrestrained. My relationships have been centered around sex and self-deception. Thinking about all these things makes me feel so dirty and defective. I want to be better, and perhaps I am better now. I believe that I am, but it doesn't feel like enough. I'm ashamed of people having known the past me. I feel like I can't trust myself. I have generally been an optimistic and confident person in my life but lately I just feel tainted and beyond repair. I know these thoughts aren't constructive but I don't know how to let go of them.

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@Arcanus

There is no past.

There is no self.

There is no shame. 

 

You insist there is a past.

You insist there is a self.

You insist there is shame. 

 

Love can not join you in a past, love is the present. 

Love can not join you in shame, love is unconditional & innocent. 

Love can not join you in suffering, suffering is the denial of love. 

Love can not join you in resistance, resistance is the denial of truth. 

 

There is no past, only the truth. 

There is no self, only the truth. 

There is no shame, only the truth.

 

Love is every story, every character, every role, every script.  

 

Stake your insistence of conditions vehemently & relentlessly, be determined & unwavering in your resistance.

This love is only felt more profoundly, this truth more deeply. 

 

 


MEDITATIONS TOOLS  ActualityOfBeing.com  GUIDANCE SESSIONS

NONDUALITY LOA  My Youtube Channel  THE TRUE NATURE

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@Nahm :x  nice art.

@Arcanus  you are giving it power, not any outside influences. Who cares what people used to think about you? Their memory is just as faulty and deceiving as the next. Besides, who doesn't love a good redemption story? You do you, and do it with love. Everything will click around that. 


My Imagination is a Monastery and I am its Monk- John Keats

 Join me and SirVladimir for a collection of short stories, guided visualizations, and other forms of lucid/immersive daydreaming. MindVenture Facebook group  (this is not a meetup, merely a mutual interest in lucid daydreaming) 

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20 hours ago, Arcanus said:

I feel like I became more and more spineless and hypocritical over the years.

 

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 I've acted trashy, sleazy, shameless and unrestrained.

 

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Thinking about all these things makes me feel so dirty and defective.

 

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 I'm ashamed of people having known the past me.

 

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I feel like I can't trust myself.

 

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I just feel tainted and beyond repair.

 

All of these thoughts are lies.

Let go of the voice that says "THIS is good." and "THIS is bad." You are neither good nor bad. Who you are, cannot be described.

You are not your past.  And you are not your memories.

You are not the good things you have done.

And you are not the bad things you have done.

You are also not good things you feel.

And you are also not the bad things you feel.

Don't claim the good or the bad. 

You are free beyond both.

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On 8/24/2020 at 6:27 AM, Nahm said:

Stake your insistence of conditions vehemently & relentlessly, be determined & unwavering in your resistance.

This love is only felt more profoundly, this truth more deeply.

Can you elaborate on this part of your comment?

On 8/24/2020 at 7:15 AM, seeking_brilliance said:

 

@Arcanus  you are giving it power, not any outside influences. Who cares what people used to think about you? Their memory is just as faulty and deceiving as the next. Besides, who doesn't love a good redemption story? You do you, and do it with love. Everything will click around that. 

Hah, if only I was the only person giving it power... I mean, I understand that in a sense that's definitely case. However, I used to be emotionally resilient and able to talk myself out of negative self talk. Not so much any longer when after so much verbal abuse in my relationships. Then again, I know I taught these people how to treat me. I am slowly trying to build myself back up again, this time with solid footing instead of overt pride or self-delusion. I know that confidence will have a much larger impact on my life beyond just the thoughts I have of myself inside my own head.

Regardless, I really appreciate your comment and its message. The thought of fulfilling my own redemption arc is what keeps me going.


@JosephKnecht Thank you for the video! I do realize how narcissistic my self-pitying tends to be but it's always good to get a reminder. And yes, I looked into more of his work and it seems very helpful. I'll likely read his book about letting go.

@Brittany Thank you (: But even if all the things you said are true, they are difficult truths to apply practically when I'm in an emotional place or my thoughts are spiraling. Often times it's hard to even feel like I deserve to let go of these feelings. Like even if I could talk myself out of them, rationally or spiritually, I shouldn't. At the same time I'm aware that this undeservingness is likely just another lie that I've tied to my identity.

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2 hours ago, Arcanus said:

Can you elaborate on this part of your comment?

The beginning, the end, the middle, the journey, the adventure, it’s all love so have at it. You can’t get it wrong and you will never get it done. 


MEDITATIONS TOOLS  ActualityOfBeing.com  GUIDANCE SESSIONS

NONDUALITY LOA  My Youtube Channel  THE TRUE NATURE

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if only I was the only person giving it power...

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I know these thoughts aren't constructive..

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 I feel embarrassed about..

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I have always..

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I had a period of self-exploration

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I've always called myself a spiritual person

Notice a pattern?  If so, read back your original post if you want a bit of a shock.  But more importantly, take this as an opportunity to distance yourself from your self.  IF you're actually serious about progress, you must actively seek out every single thing that causes an emotional reaction, and work on it, the more painful the better.  "Awareness alone is curative".  The first step is to recognize fear as fear (not as anything else), second is a strong relentless will to overcome it.  

Even the good reactions should receive the same treatment, as they're often an indication you've just put a bandaid on a fear, and are feeling "relief", which can only ever be short term.

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I mean, I understand that in a sense that's definitely the case

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 I feel embarrassed about....  I've always..   I've been critically....  I've acted....  I have realized that I was never really able to feel proud about myself, which has led me to want to change.....  I know these thoughts aren't constructive.....  

Through fear, and the self-deception caused by it, it seems you've not been able to gain enough awareness to see beyond yourself.  You seem to still see yourself as just a person, as that which you've attributed to being you from your experience as a human.  It's basically the same as playing a video game, and fully believing you're the character you're playing as.  You could call it childish, but those who play as humans mostly are.  You will eventually need to "grow up" and stop seeing things from your perspective or how the world relates to you, as I've pointed out in the quotes above.  Have you seen every single spiral dynamics video from Leo?  If not that should be step 1.

Your use of "in a sense" is also a bit worrying, and tells me this is all still intellectual for you.  It's like knowing that, in theory, murder is bad, but not actually knowing deep down why it's bad, you just know it intellectually because it makes logical sense or you've heard it a bunch of times.  You intellectually believe (correctly) that you're the one causing your own issues, but it's still an abstract concept that you haven't yet integrated due to lack of awareness.  Once you start to face your fears, start seeking out the truth without bias, expand your awareness in the process, and realize that you're the cause of all your problems, that's when the shame will automatically disappear.  You could say, the root cause of your problems is your belief that you are the person you're living as, this makes you take everything personally and attaches you to the random events the self experiences, this attachment causes you to defend this self, and when you can't adequately defend it, you feel fear. 

E.g. you think your actions as selfish → you believe you are your actions → you believe you are selfish → generate additional fear from that belief as you don't want to be something you consider bad → since you believe you're a bad person, you subconsciously make yourself feel bad as a means of getting yourself to change or convince yourself it's not a problem → failure to change or make yourself believe in a lie/alternate-facts leads to where you are now.    "I believe my self to be inadequate, so I am inadequate, so I must change, but I don't know how, but I must! Otherwise my identity will adapt to this new reality, and I will officially be a..  bad! (in some way) Person!"

There's a few places where you can cut off the downward spiral, you could just make yourself "better" (whatever that means to you), maybe hit the gym 8 hours every day, and that will have the same effect if it addresses the fear.  But that's limited, and another fear could come up and you'll then want to start a business or something.  Really, the only way to permanently take care of suffering is to, rather than complying with the ego's infinite list of demands (which it generates from fear),  to just have the attitude that you won't let yourself be controlled by fear, and you'll, in fact, actively seek it out, and show yourself that you don't care.  Ego (definition 2) is awareness in the service of fear.  No fear = no problems can be generated.

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I just feel tainted and beyond repair

One way or another, everyone must, and will, feel connected to "rock bottom".  e.g.  if you're rich, you will be unable to appreciate the wealth if you cannot remember being poor. Now that much is obvious, intellectually, but if you were rich, you wouldn't be aware of this issue.  In fact, even if you were, you'd be unwilling to experience poverty for any length of time.   The best thing that could possibly happen to you may be losing all your money, temporarily, or not.  If this rich person was enlightened, though, that's where things get different. 

See, before enlightened, feeling "tainted and beyond repair" may be absolutely necessary, as without feeling this way, you may never recognize being free of that state, always wanting more purely out of lack of awareness of what you already have.   If you ever forget the unpleasant feeling, you may, subconsciously, as your higher self of which you're not yet aware, bring about whatever you need to to keep on progressing. 

For progress, the most important thing is reducing how much you cling to your human needs, and how expanded your awareness is as a result.  It is often beneficial to lose the capacity for human happiness, as it means you may realize how limiting it is, and how you don't actually need anything, ever.  In fact, the more you engage in life and the happiness it offers, the less you're able to notice the happiness that's always there from existence alone.  Most people die without ever experiencing anything like this due to being so immersed in life, so this isn't the same as just being peaceful and relaxed (unless your definition of peaceful and relaxed is an acid trip..  ★~(◠﹏◕✿)   ◉◉) and is definitely worth pursuing.

 

I can't tell how far I went on a tangent, maybe some of this will make sense..

Basically/TL;DR, it's just fear, don't worry about specific issues, find the root cause.  Thinking; meditating; identifying issues; learning about enlightenment; and being aware of yourself experiencing things is the best you can do.  Even if you don't do anything, the stress will build up and you'll end up losing fear anyway, but it's a slower and more painful path.


You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.

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You consciously decide who you want to be every day. Which means you can actively change it. If you've decided that's not who you are anymore, act like the person you want to be. This doesn't mean you pretend like the past never happened. Keep it in mind often, as a reminder of why you're choosing a different path. Best of luck.

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You can start by congratulating yourself. That you’ve reached a stage of awareness where you can see how your past actions may have hurt you. Many people live in ignorance their whole lives, too afraid to look at themselves, choosing to ignore, deflect, project or seek escape in drugs, alcohol, sex etc. It’s a major point in your spiritual development and you should be proud for coming to the realisation that something needs to change.
 

The question is how do you deal with feelings of shame and guilt. Recovery starts with self love. I would encourage you to learn about self love and forgiveness. Leo has made some videos on this. It sounds very corny and new age but cultivating self love and acceptance of yourself and your unique journey is pivotal to living a more balanced and peaceful life. As is learning how to deal with negative emotions. I would encourage you to read Teal Swan’s material on this if you haven’t already.
 

Your emotions are a wake up call. Living your life in the way you described didn’t make you feel good. Ask yourself what would. And learn to forgive yourself for the past. 

 

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Wow, that's relatable. 

Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself space. You did the best of what you knew at that moment. 

Congratulate yourself on having the ability to look back and evaluate your past self. You have levelled up. 

It's okay to feel ashamed. Its a sign of growing sensitivity. 

But shame creates shadow. 

Instead, bring the light in. Take your time. Let shame dissolve. 

You don't grow by dissociating from your past self, but by fully accepting and integrating it. 

Shame is the roadblock. Accept it and let it go. 

Instead, focus on building healthy social bonds. Allow yourself to be accepted as you are. 

Examine your beliefs around sexuality. Update them. 

Examine your judgements of other people. Let go of them. 

Examine your judgements of yourself. Let go of them.

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@Arcanus I got nothing to say because at the end the things you did was you after all. Look yourself properly if you are the same past self or something else. Sometimes bad things gives great lessons.

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On 8/23/2020 at 10:28 PM, Arcanus said:

I have always struggled with my self-perception

This is where your life changing realization is to be found. There is not and never will be a thought about you. Every single thought about you, is false. Feeling tells you so, every single time. 

“I have always struggled with my self perception”.

vs

“I have always struggled with mistaking a thought about myself, for myself.”

vs

“I am the awareness of the thought. I am prior. Thought comes & goes, I, awareness, consciousness - do not.” 

vs

“Through proper investigation, I find no separation between myself which never comes & goes, and all else which comes & goes. I must therefore conclude I am either formless, or deluding myself, with thoughts of myself, which are myself, and thus can not be about myself”. 

So too is perception. 

 

I am mystified, baffled, perplexed and intrigued as to what this ‘past’ could be, and wether I will ever know or experience it.”    - Love

 

 


MEDITATIONS TOOLS  ActualityOfBeing.com  GUIDANCE SESSIONS

NONDUALITY LOA  My Youtube Channel  THE TRUE NATURE

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Shame will come to you over mistakes. The shame should stop when you have fully repented of your actions. Of course you will continue to feel this way after realising past wrongs.

Some of this you can deal with now though. You don't need to fear how people see you. Most people do bad things, and the ones who mostly don't aren't likely to judge you, are they? Or when they judge it will be done correctly, not against false criteria.

Allow yourself to be punished, but don't feel that you need to add to it. Focus on being a better person.


He who is dead must pray for life,

For the living shall never die.

divine love

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Non doership module by Roger Castillo.

Life changer. Helped me so much

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