Although I’m not a Virgo, last week I had an experience that Virgos want to avoid like plague – I felt dreadfully unprepared.
I made an appearance on my friend, Alice’s, app but I didn’t know how to use the darn thing. So, despite really wanting to be on my desktop where I feel comfortable and have everything set according to my needs, I got on using my iPhone, because I’m new to app culture and that’s what I thought I had to do. Although I don’t know what they saw (a harried woman with lots of backlighting and a phone moving erratically through space and time?)…I do know how I felt: in a spotlight, unprepared, spinning out of control.
And I couldn’t shake it. Despite forgiving myself, despite letting myself off the hook for not being perfect, or for simply learning.
It triggered shame. A feeling of being inadequate and somehow horribly “wrong”. Most definitely not right. Not okay.
When I inquired into the deeper source of this feeling I went all the way back to: being called on in Mr. Lucero’s Spanish class, and not having the answer; being put on the spot in choir and feeling my singing voice was subpar; to math class, where, despite my rigorous attempts and after school tutoring, it wouldn’t sink in; being onstage in a school performance- and giggling during my lines; being singled out as the too skinny white girl in a junior high school full of tough, big-boned, cholas (hispanic girls)…
…All were real life situations where I was in the spotlight and I felt so uncomfortable, vulnerable and inadequate.
…But anyone can survive discomfort and inadequacy. What made me feel so horrible was the judgment I placed on myself.
I thought: There must be something wrong with me for FEELING THIS WAY (not: I don’t like this, or, this is uncomfortable). In childhood, my emotional sensitivity was criticized, punished- and so the harsh self-judgment I can feel is directed toward my deeply sensitive and feeling nature.
(Brene Brown has said that judgment is the gateway drug to shame. It only takes one little self-judgment to open the floodgates.)
Shame is a lot like mold. It only grows in the dark, in the places we hide. While I’ve yet to find its cure -it is so pervasive in our culture; in our education, religious, moral and childhood conditioning, it is almost impossible to escape – what I have noticed is the more I allow my authentic experience into the light of day, the freer I feel. Shame needs dark to grow. In the sunlight, mold dries up.
Astrologically, I’ve long associated shame with the Virgo-Pisces axis. I can’t tell you exactly who I learned this from (perhaps from astrologer Jeff Greene?) but combine the Virgoan desire for perfection…mix in some self-flagellation and masochism, a very shadowy Pisces, and a sense of having sinned, or fallen short of Heaven… this connection intuitively makes sense to me.
Shame is one of the 58 cards in the Intuitive Energy Divination Deck. Honestly, I pull this particular card more than I care to, and more than I want to admit to you. But by admitting this to you, I’m giving it all some room to breathe. Honest acknowledgment is the only thing that clears it; not tiptoeing around it, not creeping around in the dark. Shame can only exist in the dark, held away from others, like a secret or a “bad” thing about oneself. Yet, as the Shame card reads, shame is perpetuated by a belief that Right or Wrong exists. And you can: “Free yourself from all ideas of Right or Wrong to be permanently free from shame.”
If this sounds like a tall order – especially in a culture of pointing out rights and wrongs – it is. Yet, Shame is the most damaging energy you can contribute to the world. Again, shame begins with a judgment, toward another person, or toward oneself (this might not even sound like a judgment, be something said in “jest”, or be a subconscious thought, but still carries the energy of judgment).
You have been harshly judged about different things than I have – but we all know how badly it feels to be judged. It feels awful. And when judgment enters the room, shame is sure to follow. Nothing ever heals in this way; the cycle only repeats.
There are many possibilities for this Virgo Full Moon. Personally, I’ve let go of another layer of shame, let some light in, and given myself room to forgive myself, be imperfect, be authentic and more loving toward my emotionally sensitive nature.
When I give myself permission and self-acceptance around what is true for me, I discover a natural ease within myself, and within my sensitive nature. I can be intensely feeling; I can feel excruciatingly uncomfortable in the spotlight, and in learning situations; I can feel dreadfully unprepared in some situations, and vulnerable… yet it’s safe and perfect to be exactly who I AM.