Tag Archives: introspection

The Shame Game

CS Lewis on shame.

There is a very nice mom at our bus stop.  One morning, out of the blue, she looked very, deeply, deeeeeeply sad.  I wondered if something really terrible happened.  I honestly have never seen anyone quite so affected.  It was alarming, awkward, and uncomfortable (I’m being honest).

After that I didn’t see her around much, and her husband was taking the kids to school. So, today when I picked up Brooke, she was there, and I realized it felt like it had been a really long time since I’d seen her.

I walked up to her and she smiled and greeted me, along with the other moms.  Someone said to her, “I’m glad you’re feeling better”.  She nodded, then announced very calmly and shamelessly, with a big smile to the rest of the group, that she had been in the hospital for a week, for depression.

We were all so clearly taken off guard by her blunt, unapologetic, unembarrassed confession.  Some of us just clammed up.  Others tried to fill the awkward silence with words of encouragement and offers to help. It was alarming, awkward, and uncomfortable, again.

Thinking about that now, I’m just really wishing we could all just speak openly, without fear of embarrassment of such personal things.  Without shame and worry that it could be received with shock, embarrassment, awkwardness.

My opinion of her hasn’t changed at all from what it was before.  I pretty much could tell she was a bit of a wild card from the get go.  No harm was done to our relationship.

In fact, now I know something about her that will make me feel less awkward, and more caring when I’m around her.

I don’t need to worry about whether she’s judging me now, because she shared something deeply personal.

If we all have dirt on each other, because we all share our dirt without shame, and consequently continue to treat each other with ever-deepening respect, the world just becomes a more peaceful, graceful, comfortable place.

Maybe if it became more common to blab about our personal business freely, a natural side affect would be that people naturally become better at accepting one another.  Who knows?

xoxo, Mere

PS: I really thought hard about writing this, because she is my neighbor, and I don’t believe in humiliating anyone for blog content, so I wasn’t sure if I should “out” her.  BUT, after I read the words I wrote, I realized that if someone wrote something like this about me, I would feel proud.  So, that’s why I’m writing this, at the risk of her someday reading it about herself, because I really admire her honesty.

I do also want to mention that she’s from Western Africa, and I’m really curious to see if it’s more common for people to speak openly about their problems in the culture she comes from.  It’s no secret that some cultures are more sensitive than others.  New England is definitely a play-your-cards-close-to-your-chest kind of place.  She’s a brave one.

So, much, introspection!!!!!!

From time to time, I start to get confused by my life’s path, and figure out that all I need is to reflect on it with greater focus.  And when I need to do this, a good book definitely comes in handy to help give me some direction.

Books help me become accountable for sticking to my goals, whatever they might be at any given time.

Some which have helped me create massive changes in my life (with not a lot of effort) are, The Circle, by Laura Day (which helped me pick myself off the proverbial dirty floor, in opportunity-less Daytona Beach, to make the move to career-driven, opportunity-hub, Connecticut),.

Dying to be Me, by Anita Moorjani helped me learn to relax in career-driven, gouge-my-eyes-out-with-expensiveness, Connecticut.

Most recently, as I’m working toward a goal of a thriving, yet peaceful business, is How to Create and Epic Life by Emily Levenson.

This one I particularly like for the reasons; it’s a quick read, and the results are seen almost immediately.

The premise is familiar, start by refining and defining what it is, that you really want out of life.  For me, this is usually simple, enjoy my customers, enjoy the creative process, enjoy my job overall, make good money, etc.

While reading today, I became aware of the fact, that one of the things I need to add to my list of goals, is to Consistently Appreciate My Life, in all its Glory, for What It Currently Is.

When I take a step back and look at all I have, I am blown away, but for some reason, I feel detached from this life, as though it belongs to someone else, and I’m just a slave that works for the person living it, to provide the money for them.

I have been living as though I am a slave, and I realize that this does not need to be the case.  It’s simply a matter of me deciding to take part in my own life, my own story, and stop acting like an outsider who is only see the hard parts.

I wonder if anyone else can relate to this.  Can you?  Let me know if that’s the case, so I don’t feel like a lunatic, OK?

So, over the next 2 months, as I’m working toward developing a cool-ass brand that gets the job done, I will also make an effort to be present in my own life, so I don’t miss out on any of it.

xoxo, Mere