Authenticity & Shame

A while back I was trying to explain to someone the difference between being sex-positive vs sex-negative.

“Sex-negative is ‘Don’t do anything you’re ashamed of!'” I said. “Whereas sex-positive is ‘Don’t be ashamed of anything you do!'”

I was quite proud of that particular way of phrasing the concept – it kind of takes shame and turns it on its head, making you responsible for discovering your own pleasure as opposed to taking on the attitudes and prejudices of others.

Then my friend gave me a thoughtful look and said, “Huh. Couldn’t you say that about your entire life?”

And my mind was blown.

Think about that. A life where you were not ashamed of anything you did. What kind of feeling would that be?

I know one objection would be that it would mean you couldn’t do anything wrong. That’s only a shallow definition of it – if I fail while trying my hardest, I am not ashamed, I’m proud that I made the effort.

It’s when I don’t try quite that hard. When I let the doubts of others cloud what I know to be true. That’s when I feel ashamed-even of successes.

I believe that if you live authentically-making sure that every decision is from a centered, genuine place inside- you can live a life free from shame.

How cool would that be?

1 thought on “Authenticity & Shame”

  1. While this way of living would take a great deal of practice, if my personal interpretation is correct, that practice would be very worth the effort. Not being ashamed of what you do in your life is something I feel like we need to strive for within humanity. I am not religion-bashing or hate mongering when I say that so much of our youth is spent abiding by rules for living that encourage secrecy and shame. Rather than preaching what “not to do”, it would be a wonderful relief to instruct and guide our children to do good things, or do the things that allow happiness to stay around. This post has given me a great deal to consider. Thanks šŸ™‚

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