Why do you call me “good”? Good question. We even have a Christmas stocking for our dog that asks, “Please Santa, define good?” Goodness in my experience of God is that God always shows up whether something that happens is good or bad in my perception. God’s presence is always good. In Adam and Eve’s experience that was always true yet they feared judgment, criticism. All they got was: calm, compassionate, cooperative, creative, caring, etc. How refreshing. So why did I grow up experiencing guilt, shame, blame more than “goodness” yet I was asked to be good? Is society, religion, culture or some internal biological neuro-pathway to negativity to blame? Did you catch that? How intrinsic is it to want to blame someone or something for a situation or problem. Here is the problem as I see it. Certainly just my perspective. Blaming, shaming and guilt tripping work to creative “prescribed behavior modification”. Just because it works doe snot make it good or right. The price is too high. The cost of blaming shaming and guilt tripping is the internal injury of the soft tissue of our hearts. Secondly, without any sense of shame of blame people would blamelessly do even worse atrocities even in the name of goodness. No wonder there is so much chaos and confusion in our world. There is chaos and confusion in our internal system. That interprets a parental correction of an in appropriate statement or action as “I am bad” or “there is something wrong with me”. We become fixated on fixing something in us that does not need fixing which results in a cosmic “fix it fixation”. God did not try to fix Adam and Eve. They experienced the “inner voice of shame”. God released them from that inner voice not by negating it but by sending them a message of goodness and compassion and offering to them a resolution that they could live with as heathy humanity. By healthy humanity, I mean that the inner message of shame and blame was balanced out by another message, “It is not you that is bad (you are just human) it is your choice to inflict a negative message or action to your inner self or neighbor. Loving your self and your neighbor is how to get our of the chaos, conflict, and confusion that injury invites you into. Goodness does not just hope that I am okay. Goodness makes me okay while it also invites me to change my behavior when it inflicts anything but goodness on my inner world or neighbor. Maybe this is why, we here in many ways the message: “Love your inner self, and your neighbor as yourself”. Now that is GOOD!
While it is clear to me (perhaps not others) that god did not introduce shame, blame or Guilt, where do they come from.
Inside of humanity is the natural polarity that is in all systems. Polarities open the door to shame and blame but the negative aspect of shame and blame is inherent but not inherited. What is inherited is the capacity to invite balance and harmony, to embrace polarities without inviting polarization. Polarization occurs when a person has no sense or losses their sense of balance and harmony rather than constrain and restraint.
What if not directed by their “fear of external judgment” or internally and integrally prompted shame, “I did something wrong” creating the need to “hide” because it is all they could think of.
What if another part of them emerged and said, “we know God is full of compassionate care and that God will not let anything we do or do not do effect who they are or how they respond. God is above all of that. God’s ways are not our ways. god does no hide form chaos prompting confusion. God in the presence of chaos sees a way to respond with calmness and creativity. So what if Adam and Eve were able to access that calm and creative resource within them rather than being polarized by a part that can only “run and hide” or “stay and contend”. Wha tif they decided to stay in the garden of grace that they ha basque in even before they knew their need to experience and express grace to and from each other. What if when God cam into the garden they said,” Boy ar ewe glad to see you, we think we really blew it yesterday as we ate of the tree you put in the garden but told us clearly not to eat of it. We ate and something changed inside, our eyes looked at each other, ourselves and even you differently. We even were tempted by a part that said, “run and hide” because we felt naked where we had never felt the feeling of “nakedness” or “shame” or “blame”. We know you would come to offer to us understanding and your love and compassion. We trust that more than we fear our own inner voices of shame present asa our inner voice of shame which we now are starting to see are of set by your “impending and restoring grace. We are so glad to see you because we know you and who you are.
That shift would have shifted blaming and shaming to gracing. which was in us as well.
So Genesis was not a “fall from Grace” as much as it was and is an invitation to fall into grace or be entrapped by inner shame and blame.
Today the choice is always the same. Le the polarity polarize or let the polarities prompt us to see also the grace and healing rather than the shame that drives us into darkness and despair, “to the cave of shame” verses the “the garden of grace”. So the choice of humanity is always to slide into the human tendency to “isolate and internalize shame” or invite grace, “solo gratia” to quote Martin Luther.
So inside all of us is a “critical and condemning” part that thinks we need to be punished to be set free from our wrong. The problem is that while the intention of the part is to set us free, “hiding and isolating” never leads us out of shame and blame, but into the “cave of hopelessness”. Inside us is another part or perhaps the re-organizing, re-storing, retrofitting “Self energy” that always sees hope, remains calm and compassionate regardless of anything.
That Self is “the garden of grace” and inviting the light of restorative justice rather that wandering into the “cave of darkness and despair”.
Religion in its myriad of forms as well as social and cultural norms or abnormalities have produced or induced buckets of blame, showers of shame, and glazings of guilt but really, seriously, where did all that negativity come from?
The Bible which I believe holds in it the secrets to life and the answers to mysteries if we look not with our prejudices and predilections but with an open heart and mind.
I Genesis 3 which many have referred to as the “fall from grace” others “total depravity” etc. Yet that statement does not occur anywhere nor even the implication. It is the very nature and nuance of shame and blame to infer it when it is not there except in it micro-plasticity. way.
What we do have is Adam and Eve disobeying a direct command or restraint. They were told that what they believed was not true, (That if they ate they would die) and what was true is that God was afraid if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil that they would be as God. They were also led to believe that if they did not eat they would be missing something very good and powerful. So apparently for “fear of missing something” and because of a “desire to gain something”, they ate.
Something happened inside of them in that moment. “They realized they were naked”. How? Why? It was inside of them, not from the outside of them. Some part of them hammered at them as stupid, dumb, or worse. They then for “fear” of facing God who had provided everything they needed they hid in shame.
When God came on the scene later, he wondered, “Where are you?”. When they identified where they were and why they were there they said, “we ate of the tree you told us to not eat of and we felt ashamed, naked, so hid”. God’s response was, “who told you to be ashamed and what is shame”> They had no answer. But here is an intriguing point: God did not shame them. In fact, his tone, tenor, and truth was that of love an care, compassion and kindness, goodness and grace. God did not come with judgment, blame, shame or guilt”. In fact, God came into that moment with grace and goodness.
So Where did Shame come from. I will present my theory tomorrow for today as on that day know God did not put it on people nor did God ever direct people to put it on one another.
Shame Blame and Guilt are used to manipulate and control people for their good so some say. Shame, blame, and guilt are never used by God but grace and goodness are always offered by God