The Shame Game

Getting on stage at the creativeLIVE class a couple weeks ago was one of the most humbling and exhilarating moments of my journey. I stood in the spotlight and talked about making fear-based decisions and its past, present, and future effects on people.

I shared my own words for the first time.

 And regardless of how people received them, I shared my own words for the first time. I consider that a success, a milestone, a breakthrough.

I’m getting closer to kicking shame’s ass.

 -Jane Dolan

 [I think I closed my eyes when I typed that out. Hearing your own quote is one thing, but seeing it in print is another.]

Shame is a funny thing, isn’t it? Funny because acknowledging shame is as difficult as acknowledging pride. It’s almost shameful to say you’re proud of an accomplishment, a quirk, a feeling; but the words are literary opposites. So first I guess we need to conquer accepting pride before we can conquer accepting shame.

I’ve felt ashamed to say I’ve been proud of something before, and I honestly couldn’t tell you why. It’s as if feeling pride in yourself is obnoxious, or leaves the door open for judgment. I guess it’s because being proud of something signifies a sort of permanent claim, as if you’re saying, “I believe in this. I whole-heartedly stand by it.” And those kinds of feelings leave you exposed and vulnerable.

Oddly enough, shame leaves you feeling the exact same way: exposed and vulnerable. Not only is shame admitting a wrong, but it’s also admitting your feelings about that wrong. Double whammy. So the big journey right now is for me to accept shame—both what it means and what it silently shouts. Like all journeys, this one will include pain and acceptance, and will end in beauty and a greater self-love.

Both of which I will be proud of.

*I want to sincerely thank all of you that reached out to me after my creativeLIVE class. Your words inspired this post.