“If you’re wondering what happens if you attach your self-worth to your art or your product and people love it, let me answer that from personal and professional experience. You’re in even deeper trouble. Everything shame needs to hijack and control your life is in place. You’ve handed over your self-worth to what people think.
… With an awareness of shame and strong shame resilience skills, this scenario is completely different. You still want folks to respect and even admire what you’ve created, but your self-worth is not on the table. You know that you are far more than a painting, an innovative idea, an effective pitch, a good sermon, or a high Amazon.com ranking. Yes, it will still be disappointing and difficult if your friends or colleagues don’t share your enthusiasm, or if things don’t go well, but this effort is about what you do, not who you are. Regardless of the outcome, you’ve already dared greatly, and that’s totally aligned with your values; who you want to be.”
~ Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
In 2012 after losing my mother, I have been living my life with a certain degree of Shame Resilience: Meaning, I am not attaching my self worth to the reception of my work. In other words, I’ve unplugged from the popularity contest. As such, I’ve been speaking to things that aren’t widely condoned (especially in my part of the country) — the need for vulnerability, unplugging from your past traumas, facing shame head on, learning to love yourself and everyone around you totally and completely without reservation. In some cases, this has brought me great accolades; in some cases, I have alienated once dear friends, clients and family members.
“All life breathes, moves, heals and suffers together.”
~ Caroline Myss
Recently, I wrote an article revealing what could be construed as a dark story in my family. I did not know why I was writing it at the time, I just couldn’t not write it. The story burned through my soul to my fingers and onto the screen. In telling this story, I inadvertently caused my remaining family (my sister and my father) great sorrow, humiliation and shame. This was not my intention — it was far from my intention. My intention was healing — for myself, for my family and for others who have suffered similarly. And because I had already forgiven my sister, this story held no charge for me. I did not realize that perhaps, she had not forgiven herself, so this story would trigger shame for her. When I was alerted to such, I removed the article. I struggled greatly with the outcome of my actions. For although I want to be a pioneer in learning self love, it is not my intention to cause others harm.
I am now moving into the realm of forgiveness, as is advised by the shamanic wisdom website ThePowerPath.com as the theme for the month of December — clean the karmic debt junk drawer, let go, surrender and sigh. My spirit echoes this cry. You see, I not only need to forgive my sister, which I have done countless times before and will likely do again, I must forgive myself. I make mistakes; I simply do.
I had a meeting with a friend and colleague last week. She stared at me through shimmering tears. “I just don’t know if I can trust you,” she said. “I need to know that you will support me when I need you,” she continued. My heart was bleeding for her. Of course you can trust me! I wanted to scream. I couldn’t believe her hesitation. I was mortally offended at the base of my soul. But all I offered was, “You can trust me. I love you. I’m here for you.”
“I’m loved unconditionally, for no other reason than simply because I exist.”
~Anita Moorjani, Dying to be Me
My friend had lost touch with this central truth of our existence. We are all loved, each and every one of us, simply because we exist. All we have to do is remember our magnificence and return to our true nature, vulnerability, to realize that which we most seek — connection. Even my sister is loved unconditionally simply because she exists. I know this. I wish she did as well. I wish everyone I know and have known were aware of this simple truth. And so, I must continually remind them.
Part of being at the forefront of becoming conscious is to accept the role of making others uncomfortable, for discomfort is often the catalyst for change. And so it is.