[Note from Mercedes: This is an excerpt from a channeled reading with a client, who graciously agreed to share this portion because of the universal nature and profundity of Mary’s responses.]
Question: My question has to do with releasing shame. All my life I’ve felt like I’m not good enough, or I’m bad, or something’s wrong with me. I’m currently going through therapy for a substance-abuse problem and healing that. I think a big part of that healing is releasing my shame. Any guidance you can give me on that would be helpful.
Mary Magdalene: This is very wonderful that you have identified the connection between shame and using substances. You’re getting to a very deep level and that is where the healing can occur. I acknowledge you for your awareness of the connection between these and your openness to healing the shame that you carry.
Are there particular arenas in your life that you feel or experience shame?
Questioner: A big one is that I even have this substance-abuse problem. I feel so shameful about it, like I’m wrong and bad. It’s a substance abuse to prescription medications that got out of hand and now I’m working on it. I feel so much shame that I’ve spent the last ten years of my life with this substance-abuse problem.
Mary Magdalene: What were these medications originally prescribed for?
Questioner: It was for attention deficit disorder. I’m really sensitive and it helped me to kind of shut off my feelings so I could focus and do work. Sometimes I think I’m not cut out for this world: I’m too sensitive, too emotional. I can’t be like that if I need to work and do the practical things of life. So that’s what it was prescribed for. But I’m at a point now where I don’t want to take the medication any more. I want to love and respect my body.
Mary Magdalene: So is it simply that you’re wanting to get off the medication that’s been prescribed? Or have you taken the medication in ways that it wasn’t prescribed.
Questioner: Both. I’ve taken it in ways that weren’t prescribed and I’m working with a therapist to get off of it. It’s only in the past two months that I’ve been able to acknowledge this and been honest about it. So I’d like any guidance about getting off of it, but also help with this shame I feel around it.
There’s another shame, too, that started when I was really young. This was the first shame, which I’m just starting to realize. When I was really young, like still in diapers, I masturbated. Growing up in a Catholic household, I knew that it was so shameful. And I still feel so much shame around that now. I was so young; I don’t know why I did it.
Mary Magdalene: Thank you for speaking this. When one has shame, even speaking it is difficult because there is so much fear about being ostracized, being abandoned if you show people the part of yourself that you feel shame for. So speaking about it is the beginning of healing. It shows that, first, you’ve become aware and honest with yourself that this is what’s going on, that you have these areas that you have shame about. Then you begin to find people who you can trust, who it’s safe to share this with and open up this part of yourself to them. That, in and of itself, is a great step of healing.
You need to have discernment in speaking to others about this. It is important to only open yourself up with people who you discern that are safe. There are people who it may not be safe to open up to, people who may not understand or hold these events in the same way you do. It is not necessary or even wise for you to open up to those people. You can be in choice about who the people are who are safe for you to open up to, the people who will be supportive for you to open up to, who actually will help you in the ways that you are wanting help. So be very aware of your choice and start to empower yourself to be in choice rather than being at the effect of random responses from random individuals.
How does that part feel to you?
Questioner: That feels good. That gives me a lot of security and guidance.
Mary Magdalene: Yes. This is the beginning of reclaiming your own personal power. When there’s shame, you have given away a part of your power to someone or some entity that you probably trusted. Now, at the stage of life you’re currently in, you may realize that they weren’t entirely trustable or they weren’t entirely for your highest good. They gave you messages that what you were doing was bad, wrong, sinful, evil, or that somehow you, yourself, were bad, wrong, sinful, evil, or deficient, not right, not good enough because you were engaging certain behaviors.
This is a very sad state of affairs. It is a very third-dimensional issue because in the third-dimensional consciousness there is a very strong belief in these dualities of good-bad, right-wrong, evil-godly, those kinds of things. At the higher dimensions, we see things very differently. We see those kinds of dualities as quite destructive, quite harmful to people’s spiritual growth and their spiritual path.
Part of the spiritual process at the third dimension is realizing that many people have been programmed with this kind of thinking that certain things are good and certain things are bad; certain things are godly and certain things are ungodly; that kind of thing. Those beliefs are not a given. It is a choice to hold such beliefs.
I would like to suggest a very different possibility, which from my point of view is part of the transcendence of the third dimension and moving into a higher-dimensional consciousness. That possibility is to see that there is no such thing as good-bad. There is no such thing as right-wrong. All there are is experiences that are either supporting you or not supporting you in your divine growth and unfoldment.
When you were very young and you were touching yourself or experiencing your sexual energy through forms of touch and self-pleasuring in whatever way you did, this certainly was not bad or wrong in any way at all, from my point of view. I see it as a completely natural thing to do because you were becoming aware of your physical body and your energy—including your sexual energy, which is connected to your physical body. You were exploring that. To me that is as healthy as learning how to walk, where you’re exploring your physical body and its possibilities for mobility. No one said you were bad or wrong or evil for exploring movement and walking. I certainly don’t see you as any more bad, wrong, or evil for learning about and exploring your sexual energy and your physical sexuality.
I see it as most unfortunate that institutions, such as the Catholic church, have promoted this belief that you are bad, wrong, sinful, or whatever else for doing what I consider to be not only a very natural thing but a healthy thing. Sexuality is part of who we are. It’s no more evil than your appetite for food. People don’t call being hungry and having a meal evil. Hunger is simply an energy you have in your body that’s connected to physical systems that are natural to your body. The same is true of sexuality.
However, sexuality has the potential for connecting you with God in a very profound way, a way that for most people is much more profound than most of your other bodily functions. In fact, this is why religious institutions have tried to convince people that sexuality is bad, wrong, or whatever. If you did not have that belief, if you believed or understood that your sexuality is natural, healthy, important, and a vital part of your life of connection to God, you would be a naturally empowered person—empowered to transcend the limitations of the third dimension and third-dimensional thinking. Those institutions have not wanted people to become empowered in that way, because they benefited from people’s separation from their own power, people’s obedience to them and placing them in a position of power.
This is all part of the third-dimensional legacy. It’s all part of what beings are learning about and learning to transcend and grow beyond in their experience in coming to Earth. Not only is it part of your spiritual path to explore your sexuality, but it is part of your spiritual path to go beyond the limitations of the thinking that says your sexuality is shameful or sinful in any way, to go beyond being limited by this kind of belief structure.
So from my point of view, in many ways you are right on course. You’re having your experience of having been limited by having taken on these belief systems, which was probably a very natural, understandable thing to do because you encountered them as a child. Very likely, the ones who you were trusting to discern for you which beliefs were supportive for you to take on believed this. So you took it on because they believed it.
But now you are an adult. You are growing and maturing spiritually. This is your time to become aware and conscious of what you choose to believe, what you choose to follow, what ideas you choose to empower as things that seem true, in the sense that they are consistent with your own experience and your own guidance.
I am guessing from what you’ve said that you no longer ascribe to the beliefs that sexuality or even masturbation is inherently wrong or bad or sinful, and yet you are struggling with earlier programming. Is that right?
Mary Magdalene: Even this kind of conversation can be immensely helpful in understanding that that is just one option amongst many, many options. From my point of view, you were probably a sensitive child. Your awareness of energy was probably very high. So you were naturally aware of your sexual energy at a young age, possibly younger than many other people. And you were empowering yourself to explore this. These are all very wonderful things, from my point of view. There is certainly no harm, that I am aware of, that can come to a child from exploring their sexuality, masturbating, and having orgasms. But because of their programming, other individuals—very likely including your family members—may have been uncomfortable with this. It may have been in conflict with their beliefs, or the level of shame that they carried, or their comfort around sexuality altogether, because of the programming they received and ascribed to.
In fact, the problem was probably much more on the part of those who told you that you were wrong. Maybe they didn’t even tell you that. Maybe they just were experiencing that within themselves. And because you are a very sensitive being, you picked up on their discomfort, their conflict, and their beliefs. And you took that on.
Does that seem accurate?
Questioner: That’s exactly how it seems.
Mary Magdalene: So the first part is to realize that these were really their issues, their difficulty, their challenges that you took on, not your own. You were simply being your own natural, sensitive self.
What’s important is to realize that the decision of yours to take on their issues as your own issues was your choice. Of course you were very young and it is natural to do things like that when you are young. But nevertheless it was a choice.
Now you have the choice to no longer continue to take on those beliefs or those conflicts that others are carrying. Can you sense this in yourself?
Questioner: Yes, absolutely.
Mary Magdalene: Again, it does not mean that you need to go telling everyone you meet that you feel differently or that you have a different point of view. That may not be supportive. You are in choice about who you share this with. But you can certainly do this for yourself in relationship to these arenas. You can do this relative to sexuality. And you can also do this relative to your use of the medicine that you were taking.
I have been shown very strongly that whenever a being makes a choice, there are always very wonderful, or you could say beautiful, reasons for that choice. Those reasons are what I have called your “inner divine qualities.” When you made the choice to first take the medicine, and then later to take it more than was being prescribed, you had very important reasons why you made that choice. It doesn’t mean that the outcome of that choice—the outcome of the behaviors that you chose to engage—are ones that you are pleased about. It could be that you look at the outcome of those behaviors and you regret that choice. You regret that you chose to act upon your motivations in that particular way. But regret and shame are very different things.
Regret is part of the human experience. Humans makes choices. In retrospect, some of the choices you are happy about and some of the choices you are not happy about. Both serve your growth. So it is fine to make choices that you are not happy about. That is part of the growth process.
When you realize you’ve made choices you’re not happy about, most humans experience regret. But if you have been given the program that whenever you feel regret it means you’re a bad person, then very likely that regret will turn into shame. Shame is saying “there’s something defective about me because I made this choice, or I took this action.” That is based on a combination of regret and judgment. You’re making judgments about yourself, such as: “I should have known better.” “I should have been stronger.” “I shouldn’t have been vulnerable to this kind of artificial support.”
Are you making those kinds of judgments about yourself?
Mary Magdalene: Are there other judgments that you’re making, too?
Questioner: It tends to be the same things: “I shouldn’t have done that.” “I should be stronger.” “I shouldn’t be so emotional.” …
Mary Magdalene: “I should know better.” “I should be more stable.” “I should be more like other people who don’t have these problems.”
Those kinds of things?
Mary Magdalene: Yes. “There’s something the matter with me that I can’t do it right.”
Mary Magdalene: When you set all those judgments aside, are you able to feel something different in terms of an emotion, other than shame, relative to your taking this medicine?
Mary Magdalene: What is it that comes up?
Questioner: More compassion.
Mary Magdalene: And perhaps regret or sadness for the situation that you’re in?
Questioner: Yes, sadness and regret. But especially when you were talking about the inner divine qualities, then I feel compassion.
Mary Magdalene: Yes. There are two things. You have sadness that engaging with these medicines hasn’t supported you in the way that you were hoping. Is that true?
Mary Magdalene: And it has had some negative ramifications. Is that right?
Mary Magdalene: Yes.
What I would like to look at are the inner divine qualities that you were hoping to fulfill by taking this medicine, and even taking more than was prescribed. What were you hoping to accomplish by that, consciously or unconsciously?
Questioner: Power over myself—being powerful. Also being productive, getting stuff done. Being able to connect with people. I think I also used the medicine to mask some depression, as well. So I wanted to be joyful and happy to connect with people, and give that joy and happiness to people.
Mary Magdalene: Beautiful! This is the important thing that will help you the most with shame. It is to realize there were very valid, important, and even beautiful reasons why you were making these choices. You wanted to have power over yourself. You wanted to be productive and functional. You wanted to connect with others. You wanted joy in your life. These are wonderful, important things that everyone needs in their life. You were choosing this modality of trying to accomplish these things. Perhaps it didn’t work the way that you were hoping. But that doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. It simply means you made a choice that didn’t work out the way that you were hoping.
Now what you can do is take steps to make a different choice. Take steps to get off of the substance, if that’s what you choose to do, or whatever seems like the wisest choice now to accomplish these same things. Because it’s still important that you have all of these things: that you feel empowered, that you are functional and productive, that you connect with others, and that you have joy in your life. You still need all of those things. You can simply shift from this self-judgment and paralyzing position of “I’m bad,” to “I tried something. It didn’t work the way I had hoped. Now I’m going to look at what else I can do to fulfill these important inner divine qualities.”
How does that land with you?
Questioner: That’s very helpful and feels very healing.
Mary Magdalene: Wonderful.
Hopefully you are finding people who can support you in finding practical steps you can take to fulfill these inner divine qualities, which will support you in better ways than the ways you were trying through the medicine.
I highly recommend that you also change your languaging. Rather than saying, “I have a substance-abuse problem,”—because you’re labeling yourself as one who’s involved in abuse—say, “I have a problem with my use of this medication. It’s not supporting me. I want to change that.” Simply state what is without any judgment.
Can you feel the difference?
Questioner: Absolutely. Yes. (laughing) Thank you, that feels so much better.
Mary Magdalene: (laughing) Wonderful.
Questioner: I have another question about depression. I have a big fear of depression. I anticipate having depression as a result of the chemical changes I’m going to have in my body through going off this medication. I think I started to use the medication to mask some depression. It’s really the fatigue and lack of motivation that I don’t like.
Mary Magdalene: Yes. So that is wonderful because now you’re getting to the root of the issues that motivated you originally to use the medication. And again, you can look at other options.
It may be that you need medication to help you with depression, but you can look at using medication as one option. You can look at which medications would be most helpful, if you choose to engage medication. Find someone who can help you with your full spectrum of concerns. You may want to work with someone more naturally oriented, who is open to the use of medications as one option, and who can help you sort through all the various possibilities, as well as your concerns. Then they can help you to come up with a holistic program that will be tailored to you and will hopefully help you the best. They can also help you to monitor the program and how it’s working for you. Then, if you start with a medication and find out it’s not working the way you hoped, or it has consequences you didn’t realize beforehand, you can make choices about what steps to take.
You can also start to look at natural options for handling depression. There may be things in your diet that could change the actual biochemistry in your body. There could be things like exercise. There could be certain social engagements or a support group of some sort or other, working with a therapist or a coach. There may be all kinds of things.
So I suggest that you get a support person who you like where they’re coming from, who you trust, and who you feel has the understanding of the full picture, so they can help you to access all the different kinds of resources you may need.
Questioner: Thank you. That’s very helpful.
Mary Magdalene: Wonderful.
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