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Something I'm Ashamed of

Young and ignorant, I did something I’m ashamed of. I had a small fashion jewelry business, and I exhibited my wares at trade shows. Shop and gallery owners from across the country placed orders. I specialized in a line I called “Harmony”, which celebrated diversity by depicting charming faces with various skin tones, surrounded by brightly colored flowers. It was a big hit.

There was gossip among vendors that people who didn’t actually own shops were using fake credentials to get into the shows, which were wholesale only, and were ordering for personal use. I grew up surrounded by judgement, negativity, fear and suspicion. People were automatically assumed guilty. The gossip fit right into my lens, and I accused a nice, middle aged Jewish woman with short dark hair, who wanted the jewelry for her temple bookshop, of placing a fake order. She was rightfully disgusted, and I lost an opportunity for connection.

The memory still makes me cringe and I seek to clear that karma. Growing up, I had been taught by authority figures and institutions that I was wretched, small, separate and no good. Everything is energy, and we’re affected by the energies around us. The fearful energy I was steeped in brought out the worst in me.

I lived in my worthless, constricted little world because I simply didn’t know anything else. I had no confidence, and to me, the world was nothing but solid form. I believed I was small, and acted small, until I found out I wasn’t. My treatment of the lady was understandable, although wrong, a natural result of my self-image.

After much experience, guidance and practice I realized and began to act on the fact that life is energy, and the spark of energy is always present within. Thoughts are things, and we create with them. Stuff doesn’t just happen to us from the outside, we co-create our experience, along with that spark. The secrets of living became accessible. I discovered the magic, the elixir, the pure gold of life.

I know now that I am not at all who I was told I was. I’m a nice person, and much more. I still correct my mistakes to the best of my ability, but my mistakes didn’t define me. My being is still perfect.

Minus the guilt, shame and fear that was imbued in me, life is good and I’m fully present in it. Most of the time I show up better. Now and then I still cower. I’m on guard, convinced I’m bad, braced against criticism, ready for the rug to get yanked, poised for the spear of disappointment to penetrate my heart. I wake up and stop it. No one is managing and controlling me. I think my own thoughts and have my own life, independent of where I came from. My heart light glows and I know I deserve good.

My parent figure, threatened by my refusal to toe his line, doesn’t like me for this. It doesn’t matter, though, because I like me. So do others, who are much more interesting and fun to be around.

Fear is at the forefront of our society, just as it was in my life. We’ve been conditioned to be afraid, and to devalue ourselves. We hurt and hurt others. We simply don’t know any other way.

Until we know better, we get hooked into others’ fear and need to defend ourselves against it, which creates more fear. As Martin Luther King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Evolution is not a straight path. It appears that humanity is moving incredibly slowly, even taking steps backward. In reality, we’re exactly where we need to be, evolving.

Those of us who are awake shine the light. We illuminate a path for others to take responsibility for creating what they desire. Individuals change society. From a higher level of consciousness, we need to stand firm and invoke justice in our own lives. Otherwise, we feed fear and aggression.

Danger is created by hurt people, and we do need to protect ourselves. However, the real work of transformation begins within us. For me, that’s not only working to help others. It’s also the little things, like refraining from rolling my eyes and exclaiming “Idiot!” when I listen to the news. Everything we perceive in the world is but a reflection of our own consciousness.

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