Saturday, March 24, 2012

Shame Begets Shame; Regret, Regret.

I meant to write a long detailed post about this topic, but I've been busy, either at work (tis the season), or at home (tis the Ikea mother load in my bedroom), and my wife's mom has come to live with us recently (and speaks a foreign language that I'm barely functional with, though I do understand more and more--but it requires effort, such that if I must put effort into other things, my comprehension goes down).

The point was only this: if we feel shame about our previous actions, and it has been a driving force, as I believe it has been for my life, then it makes sense to think about just how much of a perverse incentive it is, and how much of our time we're spending feeling like complete shit--AND to recognize that it might be around for a real reason (like motivation), BUT that the costs are high.  And without being balanced by other more production emotions, through a process of gradual understanding of the role of shame, well, we're bound to go on feeling shame automatically when certain environmental stimuli occur.  The point being only that we can retrain our emotional understanding of ourselves, and our role in previous relations, in hopes of furthering a more productive and healthy image in the future, one with a little less pain.

Regret basically goes along the same lines.

Both emotions are purges of a sort, too, in that they allow the expression of some ugly stuff, but both are also addictive emotions, in that they provide crutches toward not facing some of the stuff about ourselves that maybe we should--they are shields against understanding things like this:

1) Maybe we're just not as good as we thought we were

2) Maybe some of the behaviors that upset us in other people are also perfectly embodied in our own actions.

3) Maybe we are the cause of our own suffering more than others and circumstances, and also, therefore, of our hope.

And with a little bit of hope--what's the line from Bill Frisell?  Lookout for Hope?  Ah, sentimental and  nostalgic in just the right forward looking way.  I'll leave this little blossom of spring.  It is a horrid quality pic from my phone, but real just the same.

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