So, I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate the video into the post so it came first.
The beginning of shame because I didn’t research how to do it!
I’ve been thinking a lot about vulnerability and shame. I think, in particular because as you know, I’m getting ready to do my cover reveal for FINDING HEART HORSE. I just approved the galley text as well which means the book goes off to print. I have the Hay House Radio Interview and the Video Release next as well and THEN…..THEN…it’s all real. I will hear it, see it, hold it and be it.
This is where the vulnerability and shame comes in. Intellectually, I know I am stronger because of the life I have lived, the suffering I have endured, the traumas experienced and yet…to share that in the public is one of the most frightening things I can think of.
I have listened to Brene’ Brown’s TED talks dozens of times and the number will go up as the release date gets closer. She nails it. She makes it clear that the only way is to just do it. Put it out there, be courageous and vulnerable. I so believe her, yet I still feel so vulnerable and shame sneaks in around the edges.
As I re read my galley text and take myself to the place of that young girl it breaks my heart. She was so vulnerable and filled with shame at such a young age and it shattered her spirit and stuck with her…until she became me, sitting here writing this post.
Shame can be unbearable. We can equate it with being worthless, unlovable, unredeemable. It can fill us with terror that we will be abandoned yet again, fragmented, or overwhelmed with despair. Adoptee’s are born with this ingrained. That is not to say other’s don’t experience it as well, just that we are hardwired.
“If distress is the affect of suffering, shame is the affect of indignity, transgression and of alienation. Though terror speaks to life and death and distress makes of the world a vale of tears, yet shame strikes deepest into the heart of man….shame is felt as inner torment, a sickness of the soul …the humiliated one feels himself naked, defeated, alienated, lacking in dignity and worth”
Shame really represents an entire family of emotions: humiliation, embarrassment, feelings of low self-esteem, belittlement and stigmatization. Shame is often a central ingredient in the experience of being. It can show its ugly face physically or in defence mechanisms because it interferes with our ability to think clearly.
As I was reading I was also thinking how people will judge. I fully expect that..There is purpose behind my telling my story. I survived. I want others to know they can too. Go ahead and judge.. because quite frankly, I don’t give a damn. I did what i did in order to survive.
Many adoptees will recognize themselves in my book. Others that come from various walks of life will as well. The journey of searching for self. The devastation and pain that arrives when you discover your own mother didn’t want you enough to fight to keep you. Most lost daughters and sons tried to cope the best way they knew how. The pain and despair is unbearable, even tho’ at the time you don’t recognize where it’s coming from.
In my life, I ran from abuse at the tender and naive age of 15. That automatically put me into the place of vulnerability. Vulnerability is scary, even now. But it’s also a place of power and authenticity.
I lived a life of risk back then and still do now. Having gone through “reunion” and placing myself in the most painful experience of my life, i know now, vulnerability is also the centre, the core and heart of meaningful human experience. Just as Brene’ Brown says, its a place of uncertainty and emotional exposure with an unknown outcome. It’s opening your heart wide knowing rejection may be the result.
As soon as I post my cover to FINDING HEART HORSE the external journey begins. Of course, I’ve had people write reviews, and editors to critique. Those are the warm up experiences because just sharing with them leaves me in a vulnerable place and embarrassed by the life I led.
I learned through reunion, being so vulnerable and open can also be very painful. One needs trust when you are in a vulnerable place. People need to earn the right to hear our stories. It takes courage to show the battle wounds. To open your heart knowing it may get stomped on. Courage=Vulnerabilty
Brene’ Brown concludes about daring greatly:
“And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of feeling hurt. But as I look back on my own life and what Daring Greatly has meant to me, I can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I’m standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.”
And so..with her words behind me, and in me just like an ear worm I embrace my vulnerability and shame and will walk through the doors with my book in hand being held up by courage.