Is Shame Killing Your Career?

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Samantha has one too many drinks the night before and ends up sleeping in and ends up being late for an important meeting. When she realizes her face gets hot and her breath gets shallow. “Shit!” she thinks, “How could I have been so stupid? What have I done??”

This is shame, according to Brene Brown, research professor and public speaker on the topic.

The Bad News…

Continue reading “Is Shame Killing Your Career?”

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Shame and Sickness

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Delicious lentil soup brought over by a friend.

I am in bed again.  For the sixth day, although I haven’t stayed in bed as diligently as the time I was sick in December.  I get up, I go to work for half a day, I become exhausted, I go back home, back to bed.

The moments when I am able to relax into the sickness and simply rest are beautiful, restful.  But there are lots of moments that are not…

Continue reading “Shame and Sickness”

Shame

I wake up tired
heavy
closed
tight

I don’t wanna get up
I don’t wanna leave my bed
I don’t wanna leave my house

and you
can’t
make
me.

tired
heavy
foggy
I want to wake up.

To learn more about my 108 Poetry Challenge or to donate click here.

Silence and Shame

I tell my sister that she should tell her story, write it out and then post it on her Facebook wall and yet I’m terrified to tell mine.

I don’t want to tell anyone.  I want to keep it quiet, close to my heart.  I want to pretend that I don’t make mistakes, that I always acknowledge my privilege, that I’m perfect. I want silence.

I ran a workshop for a group of LGBTQ newcomers a couple of weeks ago on criminal law.  I was the organizer, the facilitator and the panel moderator.  I recruited the volunteers, set the agenda, chose the scenarios we would use.

And then after the workshop I got some feedback that one of my volunteers felt oppressed, that I didn’t do my job as the panel moderator in balancing which voices were heard and that several components of the workshop were disempowering for participants instead of being empowering.

And I said I was fine after I read it but part of me went into a spiral. I can’t do my job, I’m not good at my job, I’m actually just perpetuating the cycles of oppression that I thought I was trying to stop, I’m a bad person, I don’t deserve the good that I have in my life.  And these voices felt like they were strangling me.

black. sticky. strangling.

But I told myself I was fine and that I didn’t need to tell anyone, that I had come so far that I was beyond needing to tell others, or that they wouldn’t understand anyways.  Any and every story to convince me to keep silent.

But I’m not above shame.  And just because I lived at an ashram for two years doesn’t mean that now I’ve worked everything out and that I can fight all my battles on my own.  I still need help, I still need people to listen to my story, I still need empathy.

I am not invincible and I’m far from perfect.  I am trying so hard to create experiences that are empowering for participants and sometimes I fail.  This time – I made multiple mistakes. But that doesn’t mean that I give up and stop trying at all.

And so I am scared that I will fail again, but I am trying to learn from my mistakes and create something better.  I am trying to be brave and not listen to these voices that tell me to crawl into a hole and never to come out again. And I am trying to move out of silence and through the shame.

Sharing Circle

the talking stick
is passed

and as it draws closer
my palms sweat
my chest squeezes
shut

3 people before
I stop listening completely
composing a monologue
obscuring the truth
just enough

what if they find out?
what if he finds out?
will everything crumble?

obscure
truth.

To learn more about my 108 Poetry Challenge or to donate click here.