Miracles News

January-March, 2020

Shame

by Rev. Joyce Peebles, Ordained Ministerial Counselor

Where I live in rural Arkansas, we do not have many fancy restaurants. On my anniversary we went to a nice hotel and ate dinner with another couple. When the bill came it included a $36.00 “service charge.” I had never heard of this before and wondered if that was a built-in tip for the meal. The other three at the table tried to explain it was not a tip but an additional fee added on to the bill.

I felt very unsophisticated and stupid that they all knew what it was, and I did not. The others at the table were used to fancy restaurants and expense accounts. I experienced a feeling of shame because somehow, I should have known and was therefore not “good enough.” I had been found wanting.

Recognizing my shameful feelings was uncomfortable. The feeling of wanting to place blame on someone else for my feelings of inferiority was strong and seemed initially justified. After quieting myself, I remembered I’d made this situation up and there was a lesson to learn here.

The question came to me, Do I believe what Jesus says? “Not for one instant is the body real.” Therefore, these thoughts must be coming from my Mind. This image I have projected was painful.

A Course in Miracles appeals to me because I seek a way of escape from the pain of “life.” It tells me forgiveness is seeing everyone including myself as innocent. I am able to escape from the world I see by giving up my attack thoughts. I had wanted to attack and place guilt on someone else because my feelings of shame were painful.

I like what Joseph Miller said, “This is not a frivolous release. It means overcoming the attraction of guilt, which requires careful and long-term excavation. We are not being tortured by an outside authority who keeps points. We are only liquidating the investments our own minds have made.”

Lesson 48 came to mind, “There is nothing to fear.” According to the ego, there is always plenty to fear. According to the Holy Spirit, there is nothing to fear because I am always safe with God and this shameful situation was an illusion whose only purpose was a healing opportunity.

My ego tells me there is a very good reason to believe my illusions. If the illusion is not real, then neither is this body. Gently the Holy Spirit asks me what do I want to identify with: God or the ego? What do I want to be real? I get what I ask for. When I remember who I really Am, there is no fear, guilt or feelings of shame, somehow not being good enough.

Forgiveness heals that part of my Mind that wants to believe in separateness and vulnerability. I am learning that I need to let go of condemnation and judgment, both of others and myself, for they are the same.

We all need to wake up to the unity of one Mind. Only when I distort the Truth about myself do I feel shame, guilt or humiliation. It is always my choice alone to see things differently.

Rev. Joyce Peebles is a Pathways of Light minister living in Hot Springs Village, AR Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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