Several times over the course of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy’s annual conference this past weekend, I heard people, in groups, refer to “the black hole” inside of them, which they were hesitant to reveal or explore.
That invoked, in me, memories of experiencing my own internal black hole, which I am trying to name, here and now.
My best guess is that the black hole is shame — the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.
The black hole can feel huge.
It can cause us to lose our balance, our tolerance, and our sense of cohesion.
It can turn us into stress balls.
It can isolate us even when we’re in a supportive group.
It can interfere with our leadership.
It can prevent us from diving in to new experiences and staying afloat.
It can make us feel unwelcome even when all the signs are that we ARE welcomed.
It can make us avoid parties and other social events.
It can make us feel lost.
It can make us want to duck and hide.
The black hole of shame can blind us to our own self worth …
… and blind us to the beauty all around us.
The best we can do with our black holes is share them with each other and know that we are not alone.
Thanks to all who have helped me confront my own black holes over the years (especially the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy) and thanks to you, here and now.