archives, you & me

Shame: A Surprising and Liberating Path to Love.


Your soul is your vital energy; it is life force expressing itself as you. It is your expression of creation. It is creation expressing itself as you. It is the essence of who you are.

The amount of goodness and beauty and love that you really are is indescribable by any words, in any language.

There is nothing that you cannot transform in your life. There is no reason that life cannot be a wonderful experience for you. There is no need to blame karma or fixed astrology as identity and excuses for suffering and pain or why things aren’t happening.

The Universe is flowing and expressing itself through you, there is nothing that you cannot transmute back into your own divinity. Even your feeling of separation is an embodied experience of this sacred life breathing you. Even shame.

Shame is a liberating pathway back to embodying your innate goodness.

Shame: a complicated experience wrapped up in painful thought cycles fed by deep, often unconscious, unmet needs for love.

It’s relational. In other words, it is something that is triggered in the context of relationships and belonging. It touches us right down to the core of who we are and often cuts us right there at that core. It is the soul wound.

It’s a complex belief system based on the experience that there is something fundamentally wrong with you. It’s the pain of original heartbreak.

It is fear. It is anger. It is all the feels. It is also the cultural air we breathe and water we swim in.

It’s the feeling of unworthiness, of not being enough, not being good enough.

It is misunderstanding the nature of pain, it is having no idea what to do with pain. Pain was there when the seeds of shame got planted. When we feel pain and no one sees it, our emotions are shut down. Caregivers are unhappy or we get in trouble for being in pain or having emotions, being told to stop expressing emotions. We feel the loss of love and attention, and feel hurt or abused or neglected.

It is so common, we just think it is normal. Normal does not mean it is healthy.

As children, this pain goes deep into our hearts and we think it is somehow our fault we are in pain, or our fault that others aren’t available to love us. This is the birthplace of shame: unmetabolized pain.

We live in a shame culture. It’s completely conditioned and supported even if it begins as an innocent defense in response to a misunderstanding of life and adults. A culture that has absolutely no idea what to do with pain, so we are taught to numb it out in so, so many ways.

We can even use spirituality, psychology or personal development tools to further fuel shame.

If things fall apart, if people don’t love you, if bad things happen to you, if you don’t make enough money, if whatever it is in life that isn’t working, then it must be your fault. If you change yourself enough, then maybe you will get the things you want, and if you don’t, there must be something you aren’t doing right or not seeing or aligning with.

The message is that there is something wrong with you if life is doing the things that life does.

It’s horrible. We judge people for being in pain. We judge ourselves for being in pain. We create this separation and disconnection.

We have lost connection with what brings us all together, a power greater than us that connects us through love.

Spirituality is a connection to a force or power greater than ourselves, something that allows us to feel connected to our souls, to each other, and to love.

This era of tough love is contributing to a toxic shame culture where we mistake behaviors and outer appearances and violence against our own thoughts as some kind of love. This is not love. This is emotional abuse.

There is nothing wrong with you, or any of us. We are in pain. We must learn how to metabolize our pain. It’s become impossible to talk about shame without talking about grief and metabolizing emotions, something we can and must learn and teach each other through our mutually softening and allowing the energy of real love to flow into our hearts.

Pain is not suffering. Shame is suffering. We cannot avoid pain. But, we can avoid suffering.


Dr. Nandi Hetenyi is a shamanic healer, grief midwife, writer, teacher and soul-whisperer. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from CIIS in addition to spending over 15 years studying and practicing Buddhism, Yoga, meditation, shamanic journey, ritual, energy healing and personal growth. She envisions a world where we feel comfortable in our own skins and are happy about being a human. A world where everyone loves and values themselves as a part of the whole, where self-loathing is an oddity rather than the usual, and the soul’s truth is valued as a gift from the Divine in service of our highest good. Shedding light on the truth of the soul’s story liberates the sacred within to feel comfortable in your own skin. You can follow Dr. Hetenyi on Instagram and find out more about her work on her website.


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Rebelle Society
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