A friend of mine is having a pretty tough time right now. She could have cancelled our plans to meet up for drinks on Friday night, but she didn’t. Instead, we found this small, quiet downtown bar and set about dissecting the problem and weighing up the options.
I really felt for her. There have been plenty of times when I have been in her shoes, and everything looks so dire. And no doubt there will be plenty more. I was just happy she stuck around to talk to me about it.
On my way to meet her, I had just finished a section on shame in Dr Brene Brown’s book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’. These words were bouncing around my head, and then she said the magic words: ‘I’m just so embarrassed’.
According to Dr Brown,
Shame needs three things to grow out of control in our lives: secrecy, silence, and judgement. When something shaming happens and we keep it locked up, it festers and grows. It consumes us… Shame loses its power when it is spoken.
It was powerful to walk into this situation knowing that. So I asked her some tough questions about the source of her shame, about the problems she was having and about the choices she has to make. We ended up having an empowering conversation, tackling the issues head on and removing the stigma of shame that hovered over the issue like a black cloud. I tried my best to give her some perspective, to help her ask some of the tough questions and gave her some positive reinforcement. She is so very talented, and this may well be her opportunity to start something else. I have every faith in her.
Her reaching out to me meant more than she could imagine, because that sense of connection here is something I feel I have been lacking. I love being there for my friends, and I feel so grateful for their love and guidance in return. Yet there’s a very big part of me that is always pulling me away to from wherever I am — to the next move, the next city, the next life. Maybe I should be consciously investing more of myself here than I previously have been.
Welcome to the forty-sixth post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone. If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.