Woods Cross Utah Group
LESSON ON SHAME
JUNE 12, 1995
I am ABRAHAM. I welcome you all here. My greatest desire has come to fruition. I am overjoyed and pleased to see my student friends in an attitude of light heartedness and humor. This humor and light heartedness is where we all connect.
I ask you, how was your attempt at defining my four words last week? Many see there is a great deal of meaning behind each word, also a big difference between each word. My point of these lessons is to help prepare you for teaching positions. It takes a great deal of learning to be a teacher. I make an effort to coordinate these lessons with your life experiences and that brings me to tonight’s lesson concerning shame.
In my own personal opinion I find shame a total waste of time and energy. I find shame to be very detrimental to the mental and physical health of mortals. As we grow from child to adult we are motivated to live our lives by the amount of shame that we have been taught. On the other hand, which has proven more healthy, is conscious obligation
When we are aware of our obligations to ourselves, our fellows, we are knowing of right and wrong. The knowledge of conscious obligation comes from our Indwelling Spirit, who is our monitor. It is He that teaches us a healthy amount of self-knowing. If our personal Monitors do not help us to be aware the world would be even more chaotic. It is through this healthy amount of self-discipline that we learn of our own relation to our Father and the relation of our fellows.
On the other hand, shame drives us to hide, to withhold our real selves. It can somehow keep us anchored, feeling isolated and alone. When there’s an unhealthy amount of shame it separates us, not only from our fellows, but from our Father and the universe. Shame keeps us from breaking out of society molds and feeling freedom. This emotion is very strong in some more than others. This feeling of shame keeps you feeling unworthy of our Father’s attention and watch-care.
I must say, mortals do find the most ludicrous reasons to be ashamed, take financial status for example, how about personal appearance. Perhaps physical habits create shameful feelings. One with an unhealthy amount of shame does make them judge others more harshly, for they feel they are judged harshly.
This shame starts off as a small hill, an unsightly hill you try to hide. This shame keeps you from telling others, sharing, exposing your weakness. So still you attempt to hide this hill that has now grown into a mountain, and in the meantime, you burn up much energy trying to hide this mountain. Therefore I say, this shame is futile in your attempt at soul growth.
What is wrong with conversing with a friend, a relative, and exposing your true self? Speak of your emotion with this problem. Chances are this person you speak with has possibly been through the same thing. I would also suggest if this shame is feeling like a heavy burden it would be wise to think it over, do not try to block out any details. Work through this because behind this shameful feeling could possibly be a message from Father. Converse with Father. Ask Him, is my shameful feeling appropriate?
I would also add, one who feels like a child of God, a worthy and valuable person in the world knows and understands mistakes are made everyday and these mistakes are understood. This child of God knows his body is temporal, but his lessons are eternal. This person is aware of Father’s understanding and forgiveness. If all mortals really knew and understood each other shame would be very much decreased. A few questions?
N.: Abraham, thank you for that lovely lesson tonight. I really enjoyed that. I have a couple questions. The first question I have--when you are talking about shame are you talking about the same thing as guilt? Am I in understanding? Is shame and guilt parallel?
ABRAHAM: Yes and no. Shame is an overpowering emotion causing you to feel buried, out of control. Guilt also produces these feelings, but guilt you have a little more control over. Both guilt and shame are products of ego, but where shame produces a helpless feeling, guilt seems to be a little more of a matter of choice. Another question?
N.: Thank you. Can I stay with this just a minute? You talked about shame being a total waste of time. Though yet you just judgmental said a moment ago that we are almost helpless with shame. At the beginning of your lesson you talked about...like we kind of inherit shame or it is placed upon us during either our childhood or somewhere along the line of our growth. We end up with shame. Can you talk about this just a moment, why you said it that way and where it comes from?
ABRAHAM: Yes. Shame and guilt appear to be a learned emotion. Parents with good intentions attempt to teach their children right from wrong. In this process sometimes there can be an over-amount of shame induced in a child. The child then takes this into adulthood and then lives a hidden life, closed mind and heart, not truly exposing his inner self. Shame and guilt are the potential causes of a wide variety of personal and social disfunctions. I did not mean to imply you are helpless against shame. My meaning was helplessness is the feeling shame produces. Does this help?
C.: I have an example. In my house some of my children are very self-conscious of undressing. They will even go into a separate stall to use the bathroom and make sure nobody is around to even take their shirt off. I wonder how much shame and guilt they feel by doing that. I don’t know how you may address to answer this, but also in my addressing that problem with them, I think I am making them feel more shameful and guilty because they seem to have those feelings--by asking them why. I really don’t know how to address it with them other then tell them, hey your bodies are great, there is nothing wrong with somebody seeing you with your shirt off or in your swimming suit or something.
ABRAHAM: Yes, this behavior appears to be a learned trait of their personality, but I also believe people appreciate privacy. Whatever they are trying to hide is a burden for them. They do not want to be ridiculed, so therefore, they keep hidden. Does this help?
C.: Yes. I’ll do more reflecting on what to do if anything.
ABRAHAM: You have already done it. Express your opinion and then let them be. They will make their own decisions.
J.: Abraham, I have a comment. If you want to comment on my comment it would be most welcome. I think part of the problem as a human being with shame is that we are reminded through our religions that the Universal Father gave us the mandate to be perfect even as He is perfect. It seems most, if not all of us mortals, fall far short of that ideal. It just seems natural that we feel guilt or shame when we fail to live up to perfection. It seems to me that it would be better if we could accept that being human is being imperfect and realize that the Father loves us imperfect as we are. Self acceptance is so hard for so many of us in this mortal state.
ABRAHAM: Excellent comment. I fully agree. This shameful feeling in religion has also been somewhat of a benefit to our Correcting Time. With the churches teaching shame and guilt and unworthiness, many people are choosing to step out of traditional religions. With the spiritual hunger they feel they will seek out other avenues to Father. Yes, I am in full agreement of your comment. Another question?
W.: Abraham, are we moving out of a consciousness in our history where shame was used as a control measure by churches, governments, and people in authority - to keep people obedient? Now we are stepping into more understanding and our hearts are opening up and we are coming to more joy. Is this shift occurring on a wider scale or am I just perceiving it?
ABRAHAM: Yes. With this conscious awakening of mortals, you mortals of this world, many of your-function’s will be addressed. You are perceiving correctly. One more question.
W.: I have a question if no one else has a burning one. In my recent experience this is very much in line with the workshop message about shame and being human and just making mistakes, not needing to hide, just accepting that it is okay to be human, make mistakes and go on. One thing that I am learning right now and I am really excited, and I wondered if you would comment on it, is that could it possibly be as simple, I don’t know if that is the right word, but a process sometimes to simply shift our focus from feeling bad about ourselves, feeling guilt or shame or whatever, to like just not giving attention to that direction and just going over to the direction of being a child of God, like a child would be, happy, playful, alive, enjoying? Is it possible that by shifting our focus like that we could change our circumstances?
ABRAHAM: Yes, it is possible, but I would ask you to take a short time to ponder this shameful feeling to possibly figure out its origin so as not to block out or override a lesson. Yes, this shift in focus you speak of is something that takes much practice, but when this is achieved you can take the route through a problem with less inner turmoil. Does that help? (Yes. Thank you.) I ask you this week be not ashamed of anything about yourselves, human or divine. Work on this. Take your place in our Father’s kingdom. Know that none are left back, all are included. Until next week, shalom.