I have just been thinking of how both when I was a child ad later there was a very strong emphasis on guilt and sin,but not on shame which I think is more painful or isolating.I am not quite sure what shame is but I am planning to find our.
Guilt is fear about something bad you have done.
Shame seems to be total feeling of being u nworthy as a person
I have become interested in virtue and perception.It began when I read a little Aristotle about virtue being a habit.That was quite recent.Before that for many years I believed virtuous acts would follow from being able to perceive well.But when we are fraught our minds and eyes tighten up and so we perceive only what may be a danger to us.To perceive others well we need to be in a position to trust others and we need to feel secure.How is this possible?From my studies I read that our ability to trust begins with a trusted caregiver in infancy,[See” atttachment and loss “by John Bowlby reference to come] We may be able to become more secure later by good fortune,friendship and love.If not,I seem to get the idea that if we are insecure and nervous we cannot truly perceive others and they may be in the same position.If we are very afraid then virtuous acts may be hard to accomplish. The reason is obvious… when. we are concerned with mere survival as a person , in that state what we do to others may be impossible for us to consider.We cannot truly see them and so we cannot act well towards them except by good luck.Or if we are able to tolerate great anxiety,we may see better…. if not we are incapable…. Those whom we cannot see properly we cannot truly consider with feeling and act on this feeling.We see them partly or mainly in terms of the fearful fantasies in our minds and cannot see them as other and interesting.When we make a friend online we may feel safer but in fact we are more likely to misperceive them. When we are from a sad a or difficut background it may help greatly if we have some friends who might point out our errors if we trust enough to tell them.Or we may pretend to be hard and tough.Neither leads to virtue.If we trust God it may help but I believe we see God through the lens of our parents.. which is not good…depending on the parents. When we live in fear,we cannot see what is there before us.We cannot let go.We cannot accept grace and love nor give it.We will try to live by will power.Ironically people who are fearful inside can develop a shell of toughness and pride and so are not seen as vulnerable and/or lovable.Tbey may seem frightening to others. This account may help to explain why politics is the way it is and also we see that arguing is not persuasive when the other is not able to open up and see things more broadly.Arguing makes us tighten up and see less well.And it can be frightening too though some cultures find it more acceptable than others.
Here are some relevant blogs and articles
This author had a lot to say about perception… http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-marion-milner-1163951.html http://susannanelson.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/happy-go-lucky/
There are trends in society to encourage us to build our self esteem and to value ourselves… to develop and achieve a place suited to our talents.. but what is best for me is when I lose myself in something.I was reading an old blog of a friend and was quite absorbed and went into a different state of mind..then I regretted I don’t manage to lose myself enough being a housewife and having much on my mind and being busy.
Sometimes it can happen when we love a person.Sometimes a wonderful landscape feels like home.. other times a sunset across the Irish sea from the cliffs of the Isle of Man where myriad butterflies swirl and float over flowers and rocks.
Modern life, the News,talk,excitement of the wrong sort seem to lock us into our self and frighten us so we forget the value of fining something in which to lose ourselves and grow as a result. Sitting by a river fishing,knitting,sewing,a book, many things can elicit this response And remember how horror filled was the self consciousness of adolescence and how good to forget one’s self being more comfortable and accepting of appearance and image..How to live like a wild flower for a time… and be happy not to be a rose but just a tiny wild geranium or a moderate sized gentle pink flower in a arden