I can’t believe how “blind” I was. Which I think is hilarious to say metaphorically when I’m literally 50% blind! 🤣Cracking myself up aside though, picture this: After spending 90 minutes of my workday unsuccessfully trying to get our ice machine to work again, I started cooking us dinner at 5pm. I’d looked over the recipe, so was pretty sure I’d be done by 6:45 no problem … only it wasn’t ready until after 8:30pm, with a good chunk of help from my wife! 🤯 By 6:00 I could feel the waves of shame rising in my body, and soon wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball, rock myself, and cry. 🥺
While part of me realizes I’m WAY slower than others at everyday household chores like cooking and cleaning (because of my visual disability and brain injury)—I so desperately want to be “normal”—even after 10+ years of disability I still don’t adequately factor it in. And isn’t that a core message/lie of shame? Shame is the sense we are NOT normal, which makes us feel fundamentally flawed, broken, or wrong. So, as I’ve been doing, we shove that stuff down, because to not be normal is to be an outcast. At least that’s the story society tells us.
Add in that I’m not at ALL handy in the typical manly way, and shame has plenty of fertile ground in my life. Enter the Light of Lisa. With tender love, as we finished up dinner together, my wife opened my eyes to the limitations of my disabilities. Shame thrives in the dark, which is why the light of awareness, our own and that of trusted and kind friends we do life with, is key for overcoming it (Note, kindness is vital here, as judgment and comparison will only exacerbate the issue.).
Equally vital in working through our shame stories is courage, empathy, and a circle of trust. It takes courage to bring our insecurities, struggles, and fears into the light of relationship, even though that’s where the healing is. Part of why it’s so hard to share our shame, though, is because sometimes it’s received with judgment or indifference. This is why empathy toward ourselves and others is essential! Empathy is water to shame’s fire. This is why I consider myself blessed to have a wonderful circle of dear friends and family who are champions of love!
When we share our shame in safe spaces, we taste freedom, realizing every single one of us is uniquely normal and belongs! Do you have any stories to share? We’d be honored to read them!
Hugs & Love,
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