Back in the days before that snazzy invention, the Kindle, I read A Moveable Feast by Hemingway, dozens of times. I literally spent hours and hours, sitting in the sun, with my nose in that book, completely swept away.
Funny thing, though: I’ve never actually read it.
You see, I have a dirty little secret: I adore trashy romance novels. During the summer months when I wander outside to sit on a beach or under a tree to read my pulp fiction, I have been determined to hide this shame. So when I found an old copy of A Moveable Feast with the cover entirely detached, I knew I had found the perfect solution to my dilemma. Wrapped around those bodice ripping beach books, the Moveable Feast cover was the perfect cloak of secrecy. Nobody would be the wiser. You see A Moveable Feast is one of those books people know about, consider a literary classic, but has anyone actually read it? I think not. So I knew I wouldn’t have to discuss it. I could just wrap that handy cover around whatever scrumptious trash I was reading and know that people would walk by, take note of the classic I was reading and give me a wide berth. And surely they would think, “my goodness what an intelligent and no nonsense woman”.
Ahhhh those guilty pleasures in life.
But hold on a second. When you stop to really think about it, what kind of craziness is this? What insanity has us taking something as wonderful as Pleasure and attaching guilt to it? Pleasure is one of the highest vibrations we can experience. Akin to bliss, joy and happiness, Pleasure is one of those amazing gifts that we should embrace in this human experience.
Guilt on the other hand, is not. Guilt is shrouded in shame, which is one of the lowest vibrations we as humans can experience. Shame takes away our strength. Literally.
In Power vs Force, Dr. David R. Hawkins describes how he used kinesiology (“muscle testing”) to investigate consciousness. He basically created a scale mapping the human experience of emotions and determined whether each state of consciousness would enhance or deplete our strength. Muscle strength is rated between 1 and 1000 with the high end being those things like joy, happiness and Pleasure.
And at the other end? You guessed it: SHAME. GUILT. Those nasty self-recriminations that let the air out of our proverbial balloons and leave us deflated and dragging on the ground instead of floating in the air, as we could be.
Shame on you, Shame! You should feel terribly guilty about this!
Armed with this new knowledge I am making it my intention to experience the Pleasures in my life without guilt or shame. I am going to sing along loud and proud with my John Denver CD. I am going to openly watch the Bachelor with my daughter, and probably trash talk the participants. I am going to eat salt and vinegar chips dipped in dill pickle dip without apology. And I am going to read my trashy romance novels right out in the open for all to see.
Because, as my American husband wisely points out: There’s nothing trashy about romance.