As I was writing this post, I received an email from a client who had been reading my recent newsletters. She wrote how she was unable to connect to any feelings of shame, guilt, and unworthiness. In fact, she feels very worthy; her experience is more one of sadness mixed with anger at why her life did not turn out the way she had dreamed of as a young woman. Also, she feels a sense of hopelessness that her life will ever be happy and fulfilled the way she had envisioned.
As I reflected on my client’s email, I realized that shame can be so hidden and silent – almost like carbon monoxide: we can’t see it, taste it, or smell it yet it can cause severe illness and even death. I also thought of the Matrix movie where Morpheus, a symbol of the inner teacher in our minds, speaks to Theo, who senses that something is not right about this world. He feels this persistent discomfort like a “splinter in the mind” that will not let him rest. Morpheus tells Theo we are all born slaves in bondage to the matrix, a prison of the mind that we cannot see, taste, or touch. But the matrix—a world pulled over our eyes that blinds us to the truth—is everywhere. Morpheus then offers Theo the choice between two pills. If Theo takes the blue pill, he will continue to sleep and dream. If he chooses the red pill, he will be shown the truth.
We could all look at our own life experiences and write out all the ways we have felt shame or perhaps have felt others shame us. I do feel this is important for us to do in a setting where we feel safe to do so. Yet I can see that Mary Magdalene, whom I often refer to as Maggie, wants us to go even deeper: to the root cause of our shame which lies in our fundamental belief in separation- that we could be truly separate and different than our Creator and all our brothers and sisters. If we are to find the deepest weeds from where the seeds of shame grow and thrive, we must be willing to go that deep.
Mary Magdalene’s experience of shame
In the Mary Magdalene movie, when Mary Magdalene and Jesus first meet, he has been asked by her family to help her heal from demons. Her father and brothers are convinced that Mary Magdalene has something within her that is unnatural because she refuses to an arranged marriage, to settle into a domestic life, and have children- all of which were prescribed social, cultural, and religious norms for women in those times.
When I first watched this movie, I was deeply touched and resonated with Maggie (Mary Magdalene) during this scene because she has internalized this shame: she too believes she brings shame to her family. She actually wishes she was afflicted by demons – an outside force- the same way we too often feel our shame comes from outside. Yet in reality, the shame is built into our conditioning much like our DNA the moment we enter this space-time reality because we believe in separation- which is the opposite of oneness, love, and union. The mind that believes in separation automatically sees itself as weak, vulnerable, and lacking. Therefore, we come into this experience of shame, guilt, and unworthiness unknowingly like Neo comes into the matrix. There is nothing wrong with us- ever– but our thoughts tell us differently because of this fundamental belief in separation.
How do we heal this shame and sense of separation?
What is so inspiring and beautiful is that even before meeting Jesus, Mary Magdalene is already searching for an experience of God – which is the healing of separation. To experience God is really to experience ourselves as perfect, whole, and complete. This is her true calling and ours as well– to know ourselves as we truly are – not who we think ourselves to be based on past conditioning which begins at birth.
In the movie, Maggie intuitively knows that she is not made for marriage in the traditional sense as dictated by patriarchal society. She has another purpose – which is to know God. Jesus helps to validate what Maggie is feeling and allow her a pathway she can follow that will ultimately lead her Home. This is why she can guide us wherever we find ourselves to be along our pathway of healing through shame – because she has traveled it herself.
Joining with Maggie
While I was writing this blog, a friend messaged me on Facebook about how she could pray to Maggie to help her heal from a painful sense of shame and guilt she was experiencing with a family issue. Here is what I felt inspired to share with her. Perhaps it may be helpful to you if you are feeling a sense of guilt or shame.
- Write out on one page (or as much as you need) everything you think you did wrong with respect to whatever issue you feel shame or guilty about.
- Then join with Maggie in affirming that your true desire is for healing for everyone concerned. You are asking for a healing of all the perceptions and misinterpretations that you carry and others carry that seem to create a sense of separation.
- Ask her to help you to see this whole situation and everyone involved with eyes of innocence.
- So first empty the mind of all you believe, and then pause and reconnect with your desire for healing and asking her for help. Then, give the whole situation over to her. Your part is then done and see if any messages, insights, or ideas come through.
- If you feel inspired, you can have a picture of Maggie you like nearby as you write and reflect. You can choose one from what I have shared, or you might feel inspired to find one yourself on the internet. This often feels soothing and comforting to me.
I am joined with you and Maggie in healing!
Perhaps you would like to connect live and meet with other mighty companions from all over the world who are also feeling inspired to release blocks of shame, guilt, and unworthiness. You can sign up to join for our zoom circle being held on Saturday May 30th at 11am to 1pm EDT.
We will join in healing, sharing our experiences, and gather for meditation/prayer as well. I know it will be a heart-opening and healing session for us all!
To reserve your spot, please send payment for $25 here. Once I receive your payment, I will add you to the list of participants and you will receive the zoom details the night before the online gathering.
If you prefer to pay via check, you can make it payable to Seema Khaneja and mail to PO Box 18373, Rochester, NY 14618. Let me know you plan to do this so I can add your list to the participant list.
If you feel inspired to attend the online gathering but need some financial help, there are some scholarships available so please email me soon so we can secure your spot. Also, if you feel inspired to pay-it-forward, and sponsor someone to attend who might not be able to attend otherwise, please let me know as well.
Thank you for those that have already registered. Thank you to those who also have offered to support another beloved brother or sister to attend.
I love you all and I am so grateful you are on this journey of healing with me!
Mary Magdalene painting by Jonathan Weber
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