Transness.org

Exploring Gender Identity

Embarrassment

on June 25, 2010

Most people do not think of embarrassment as a tool for spiritual growth, however I am here to tell you that it is one of the best tools we can use.  The fact is that it works quite automatically and takes little effort.  So for all you people who avoid embarrassment at all costs I just want to make you aware of what you are missing.

“Embarrassment is an emotional state experienced upon having a socially or professionally unacceptable act or condition witnessed by or revealed to others. Usually some amount of loss of honour or dignity is involved, but how much and the type depends on the embarrassing situation.” (Wikipedia 2010) An important distinction that separates this from shame is that no moral code has been broken.  So what is happening in our mind when something embarrassing happens?

As the definition states it is an emotional response and anything happening in the mind is secondary.  Our thoughts about the embarrassing event can be changed or to be more accurate our thoughts can be chosen.  We will have the emotional response no matter what because that is part of the very definition; however, how we then react to that emotional feeling is a choice.  So let’s look at some of the choices we have and why we would choose them.

Behind all thoughts we have our ego mind which is the driving force that judges and condemns all actions whether by us or them.  The ego mind says that this embarrassing act is awful and then points out all the ways that it could be awful.  We also have the Spiritual mind or the aspect that connects us to the One and to each other.  Ego separates and Spirit unites.  The Spirit mind does not judge anything or anyone.  Instead it simply observes and looks for the good within what just happened.  It is the part of you that despite the message from ego, laughs at the event and finds Joy. 

The choice then is do you listen to the ego which is telling you embarrassment is bad and undesirable or do you listen to the Spirit mind that is showing you the Joy?  Saint Francis often used the tool of embarrassment to bring him closer to God and he did it on purpose.  For instance when he made the move to a secular life he renounced his association with the material world in a public display of returning all he owned to his father including the clothing he was wearing and walked away totally naked.  For most people this would be unbearable embarrassment, but for him it feed his soul.  When you read about his life you will find many instances where he or another monk would do something most would find embarrassing on purpose. 

Embarrassment is a way of moving beyond the ego mind which often controls most people.  This then frees the Spirit to guide our actions.  The choice is constantly being made, so do you listen to your ego or to Spirit?  Embarrassment is a tool that automatically takes you to your Spirit mind once you have made the choice to allow it.  See that embarrassment is simply a choice and that often times it is funny and you can laugh along with everyone else!  The feeling of freedom that comes from this action will far outweigh any difficult emotions that may come with the ego mind.  It will take a few practice runs to get comfortable with it, so do not be discouraged.  Let go, Listen and Love.

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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