Sunday, November 18, 2012

SHEDDING SHAME



There are many reasons why the idea of blogging was difficult for me. One of the reasons I was hesitant to start this blog is because I realize I’m not the only one who has challenges. I had somehow convinced myself that by talking about my experiences, I may come across to others like I think I have a harder life than them. No one is exempt from challenges, and I don’t claim that mine are any harder than the next person’s. I also feared exposing the real me in a public format. (I am just now getting used speaking openly face-to-face with people.) I couldn't understand how anyone would share their stories in such a public format as a blog or even a book because I couldn’t imagine doing it myself. I wasn’t against others doing it, but I was definitely against myself doing it because of the fears I had. Well, now the anti-blogger is blogging.

I know that one reason I have been so “secretive” about my life is that I feared that if I didn’t come across to others as having everything under control, I was weak. I often even hid my struggles from my family (ridiculous, I know, especially for those of you who know my family). I feel like I should be able to do it all, but when I can’t, I feel inadequate. As weird as it may sound, I have realized that I felt shame about “letting” my life get out of my control. “Letting” is in quotations because that’s what I felt was happening. I now realize that sometimes things just happen to us that we cannot control and it’s not always about the decisions we make. It was very contradictory in my mind because I did not view others the same way as I viewed myself. I gave their situations the difficult value they deserved and never saw it as a character flaw in them. I’ve always been prompt, organized, dependable, etc., and I felt guilty because all those things were no longer a part of my identity. I felt shame because I felt I may be coming across to others as being undependable or irresponsible.

I have learned a lot while going through my trials. One thing that has recently stood out is the amount of difficulties that everyone endures in life. I’ve known this for a long time, but it seems like the more difficult things become for me, the more I recognize the challenges that others endure. It is inspiring to see the strength that emerges in others during difficult times. They are an example to me. I have realized that through our challenges, we all learn similar things. A deeper connection is made with people as we share our experiences and gain knowledge from them. An example that comes right to mind is of my little brother. Although he is four years younger than me and has experienced a life full of challenges far different from mine, we seem to be learning similar things at about the same time. It has been extremely helpful to discuss our ups and downs and lessons learned with each other. He is so courageous and such a great example to me.


I went to a conference yesterday that my brother was a part of. (He posted about his experience at http://www.mountainstosummit.com/2012/12/why-am-i-blogging.html.) He did AMAZING by-the-way! It was so interesting listening to everyone on the panel and how their lives are so different than mine, yet the theme of the lessons they learned were the same as mine. In fact, they were the exact topics of many of my posted and not yet posted blog entries including: God will not give you more than you can bear. You need others and they need you in order to progress. We ALL make mistakes, so let’s be the one who is understanding…maybe as we are it will spread to others. What may come across as insensitive or even cruel comments and actions by another may often be a misunderstanding or lack of education on their part, so sometimes the person experiencing the trial needs to be the one to educate them. As unfair as this is, it is a way to help others understand. Your specific trials can end up being blessings that help you understand God’s grace. Our trials can give us compassion toward other people; everyone has difficulties. Sometimes we don’t talk about our issues because of the shame we feel, but talking about it can help us feel less shame…we may even help another as we share. How we decide to share our experiences will vary, some may be VERY public and others may just share with close family and friends…the approach you choose for you is okay and the approach others choose is okay for them. I’m sure there are many more themes, but these are the ones that come to mind. I know that starting to be more open and real about what I’m experiencing has helped me connect more with others and glean helpful life lessons from them. I love my family, friends and acquaintances and appreciate life lessons they have taught me through discussions and example.

3 comments:

  1. I am so glad you are doing this blog. You inspire me. You both are such great examples to me. I love you.

    -Lauren

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  2. The anti-blogger is blogging and I LOVE IT!

    ReplyDelete

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