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Broken Hallelujah

By Colm Burgoyne.  

A tight, controlling anger, with a secretive, yet rapidly responsive mind in defence of its vulnerability, is the thread that my inner looking has been directing me towards much of the day.

I take my time, as I know from experience that rushing inquiry leaves me open to bypassing the more subtle signposts attempting to direct my path into the deeper chambers of discovery.

As I dive deeper, the words come, “I’m not doing it right mum” – a core deficiency of mine – uncovering an agonising pain of loneliness which reaches right back to the loss of my mother many years ago. This recognition, accompanied by a subtle astonishment, comes mixed with a verbalised really? The body responds with yes really, the floods of tears and tightness releasing within my gut being the affirmation of that. The firmly sealed flesh of my heart area starts to loosen a little, as my awareness begins to expand towards other parts of the body that feel tethered to the contraction in the heart, like the bottom of my spine and the muscles in my head. I feel and I notice as images appear from the root of my spine. My awareness however, begins to shift again to a shame attached to the heart area and after giving it a little time to be acknowledged, I ask “is there anything the shame is asking of me?” The word intimacy whispers instinctively. Not intimacy from something external, but an intuitive sense of an intimate togetherness with myself.

Many times in the past, I have made an enemy of shame, innocently misdiagnosing it as something to be kept locked away from prying eyes, not recognising the wisdom underneath. With inquiry, I get to see both sides of shame’s coin. On one level it has served as a protection in a loving way against any perceived harm. Yet, if I turn the coin over, I see how rapidly the freedom of my expression can become enslaved by shame, if I would continue to turn away from facing it. In seeing this, my brokenness turns out to be a signpost that, when followed with enough gentle investigation and patience, a soft Hallelujah appears.

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Shame

By Colm Burgoyne.

Shame is splitting me open – in a loving, beautiful, sometimes sad and painful way. It’s been here, hiding under my skin, most of my life.  I say loving and beautiful because compassion and self care arises when it is met as it is. And sad because of the sadness that surfaces when I recognise it has been a suppressed part of my being for so long.

As a child, I was shamed unintentionally and unknowingly by my parents and society. My body, my intellectual progress in school, and my sexual expression as a teenager were all shamed, with layer upon layer of it developing as I grew. Eventually I began shaming myself from within. Hiding this shame from the world around me – especially from women – became a priority. Resentment towards women developed; I blamed them for what was being masked within me. I relentlessly attempted to keep this top secret deficiency story from the prying eyes of people, especially women. As exhausting as this was, exposure was not an option. As I see it now, this pattern went on for many years.

Why, after so long, is this shame only beginning to come into awareness so unavoidably now? The death of someone I loved dearly, the Living Inquiries, the falling away of spiritual bypassing and a shit-load of radical honesty have all played their part. With radical honesty, I get to turn around and gently meet my humanness – and all the sticky stuff that comes with it – head on. This has not been easy. Much resistance has come, both in the body and in the subtle tendency to self manipulate. In saying that, I also see the resistance as an innocent attempt to protect my humanness from feeling the rawness of the shame, grief, sorrow, hurt and anger.

If all of this means that I am not on your enlightenment list, please take me off it. What a burden that also is, and a relief to be rid of it.