Shame, Blame, Grief

May 1, 2024

Mixed with a concoction of doubt

Shaming a child leaves a scar that goes to the bones of who we think we are.  The finger pointing in a small face, the look of disgust on a parent’s face, the sinking sensation in the pit of the stomach penetrate to the core. Distress.

Slightly, maybe distinctively different, are the sensations stirred when blame is pointed at the underdeveloped brain. Inextricably linked with shame, guilt assigned is often weaponized instead of understood as a means of taking responsibility for personal actions to consider better choices.

As a mature woman I was convinced that my emotional responses have become manageable. Until a recent incident. I was hit with a live grenade through communicating a message to the greater neighborhood where I have resided for twenty-four years. A beautiful place in nature that is peaceful and becoming more densely populated.

In the natural progression of growth decision-making becomes more complicated. My desire for inclusivity got me into a mess. Intention is part of the equation when we communicate. Words matter. I stumbled. A few took me to task. Shame came over me with heaviness that was pervasive. Distressed. Maybe it was a miscommunication? I wanted to share information I deemed important with neighbors who might not receive it. A few declared dis-information. Blame was projected into the mix. I wanted to hide, run away, disappear.

After a few discussions with people I trust and respect, I felt grief. Raising a vision, and steeped in a concoction that is messy, stirred up doubt. Doubt about myself. Doubt about facilitating positive change. Doubt that we humans can create collective visions that motivate movement towards something better.

Last eve I attended a One-Page Reading Salon. After listening to the creativity of the five readers, my heart leapt over the doubt. I am free to step graciously into ‘good trouble’. Shame, blame and grief may come again through my imperfections. John Lewis demonstrated how good trouble is worth it.

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