Spiritual Shaming is a real thing, y'all.
I have been chewing on this topic for a while and for whatever reason, it's on my heart today to share so here we go.
I have been a highly emotional human my entire life. I've chatted publicly about depression and anxiety and I share openly my struggles and my victories.
Being emotional is one of the magical parts of this human experience. No other creature on earth has the emotional intelligence and depth as the human species. That, to me, indicates that emotions are something created by God for us specifically, and they should not be overlooked, brushed off, or viewed as character flaws. They should be celebrated, embraced and investigated. All of them.
I have had many personal experiences of people shaming the presence of my emotions and thus backhandedly insulting my spiritual evolution and my relationship with God.
At the time, I didn't have the language, understanding or the confidence to respond in an intelligent way, so usually when I experienced spiritual shaming, I just accepted it as truth.
I can remember well-meaning friends in my christian community that used to say things in regards to my depression like, "You just need to lean into the Lord more", or "Did you have your quiet time today?" And well-meaning yogi's that would say things like, "Well, what does your practice look like these days?" or "WOW. I can really tell you didn't meditate today."
And yes, leaning into the Lord and quiet time is SO important. And physical practice and meditation is instrumental in overcoming obstacles and creating clarity within yourself, but you can't practice the human away. Or pray the emotions away. They are there for a reason, they are trying to teach you.
Then there is a sea of these #goodvibesonly posts on social media, as if #badvibes or #sadvibes or #heartbrokenvibes are shameful. I find myself feeling very discouraged by some of these "inspiration accounts". (#unfollow, amiright?!)
Here's what I know to be absolute truth:
The character of God* is that of unconditional, radical acceptance and love.
*The energy of the Creator..
*The frequency of the Universe...
*The vibration of Source...
The unconditional and radical acceptance absolutely applies to the humanness of all of us.
That wild, relentless love the creator has for you is UNCONDITIONAL.
Can you reread that for a second and just let that goodness sink all the way down to your belly.
Let that sink all the way down to the parts of you that feel unworthy... All the way down to the parts of you that feel like you're late on the whole adulting game... All the way down to the parts of you that still has no idea what you're doing.
Let that truth be the song that your soul sings to the world.
I am wildly loved by the Creator of the whole entire Universe! And so are you.
Shame does not exist in a relationship with God. People do the shame thing.
So, now that you know spiritual shaming is a real thing, don't spiritually shame people. Even with the best of intentions, expecting people to "fix" their humanness, their moods, or their emotions using spiritual practices is harmful and destructive. It communicates that that person is not lovable or acceptable the way they are. And it compromises the practice itself. Causing people to turn their backs on methods and teachings when they "don't work".
If you find yourself with the gift of holding space for someone as they are processing something emotionally, the very best thing you can do is align yourself to that unconditional and radical acceptance, and show them that.
But more importantly, don't allow anyone or anything or any stupid post to make you feel shame about how you feel. You can't meditate away your feelings. You can't pray away your emotions.
You can only trust that you're loved and held in whatever you're feeling, and that there is wisdom for you inside the emotion, that will only reveal itself by radical, unconditional acceptance of yourself.
Yes, of course, lean into the Lord, meditate, read scripture, do yoga, do anything that brings you closer to God, but do it because He is so hungry for a relationship with you. And because it nourishes your soul. And for no other reason than that.
I freaking love this email list and every soul that reads my words.
(I know who you are, because I am a creeper and I look. haha)
Cheering for you and loving you to the moon!
This has been a super tough few months for me.
Starting over, moving to a new place, honoring and releasing the past, healing and nurturing my sweet, gentle heart; all while trying to create a life for myself from scratch. A life I am proud of.
I’m finding the balance between loving myself unconditionally on the hard days, and reminding myself of my gifts on the days I am capable of more. I have come face-to-face with old wounds and new ones.
I’ve compared myself to others, I’ve doubted what I am capable of, I’ve questioned my purpose here. I’ve felt fear, grief, and anger. (Lots of anger.) Some days, I am the worst version of myself.
As I find myself with less to share publicly in this season, I will embrace and love that side of me too. The side of me that isn’t so boldly confident. The side of me that struggles with anxiety and people’s perception of me. The side of me that has so much fear that I become paralyzed and do nothing at all.
I have poured out from the depths of my soul for others my entire life and I am finally learning how to save some of that medicine for myself. Which is why I haven’t been writing, or posting, or creating, or sharing.
Yes, I am a manifestation of the Creator in form. Yes, my soul is part of the most beautiful and loving God.
But, I am also just a human. Just like everyone else. Trying to learn who I am by unlearning everything I thought I was.
I am feeling more settled and grounded. I am making friends. I am interviewing for an AMAZING job (it’s looking like I’ll get it! 🙌🏼). I’m spending time with my sweet sister and my adorable nephew. I laugh a lot. I share my heart and my feelings. I challenge people to meet me in a space vulnerability and honesty. I am fully aligned to the love and goodness of God.
Life is a beautiful dream.
I’m safe, warm, fed, loved and blessed beyond belief.
And I am eternally grateful.
Cheering for you,
I’d love to hear how you’re doing. Send me a email if you’re powering through a tough season as well. We’re all in this together
Thank you, Alicia for the kick in the pants I needed to start writing again! Love you!