Honest · washington whimsy

I met shame in 6th grade

My roommate has a now infamous grad teaching she did in Spain. –well, infamous in the yellow house.

She talked about decisions, not having a bad day, living above the fog.

When I feel like a bad human, I give it a relisten. When I am leaning less on my ice cold brain and more on my ping-ponging red hot heart. It doesn’t happen a lot these days. It’s actually harder for me now to give grace to my emotions then ever before.

I stop my emotional output more often then not because I choose to believe that I am not ruled by how I feel and others should not have to deal with that.

I thought I was a horrible human last week. I was tired, grumpy, lazy. All the things. I couldn’t look at God. So, in church today hike everyone around me was  singing the words “your praise will ever be on my lips”, shame came. 

It overwhelmed me. 

I’m one of the first to speak shame off of someone, it’s like I have a tiny shame alarm that pings when someone is speaking shame over themselves. I actually never thought I dealt with shame as a big theme. A lot of other heavy, messy words–but not shame.

I’m reading “Scary Close” right now. It’s shocking to me how many statements hit home. But, it was the brief chapter on shame that nestled into my being to be saved for later.
Like I said, I felt like a horrible human last week. I broke down twice- once in my bosses office and then with my roommate. And on Saturday I had a grumpy hangover–this feeling where all the joy has been taken out of your world and you no longer no how to exist in said world (no drinking involved). I was beating myself up about my lack of humanness. I couldn’t even sit with myself.

Then I read the chapter on shame.

Donald Miller talked about doing an exercise in which he pinpointed the moment shame stepped into his life and oddly enough I thought his moment might be similar to mine. But no heart-tug, nothing jumped out at me. But I didn’t go any deeper. I shut the book and moved on to Netflix.

So, when shame walked in this morning and weaseled his way next to me, it shocked me that all of a sudden I remembered where he came from.

I was in sixth grade when shame sauntered into my life.

Sixth grade was the year the girls got mean.

I remember this specific morning that I got to school and plopped my backpack down by my class and walked over to the middle of the yard to find my friends.

I looked all around for them. In the corner of the play hard I saw a wall of kids all standing in a line and looking forward laughing and avoiding eye contact with me. I would come to find out they were doing that to hide all the girls I was looking for. They were crouched down and hiding from me. They were giggling and laughing.

They didn’t want me to see them.

All the reasons flooded into my being. I talked funny, I was too fat, I wasn’t enough.

I was too much. I didn’t cry, I just laughed it off and walked away, tears bringing at my eyes. 

I made a new friend that day: shame.

He now wheedles his way into a lot of places.
When I feel not enough, or too much, or like I am being too sensitive.

Last week I felt all those things. Felt like a failure. Inadequate, not enough. 

Left behind.

And because of that, shame snuck into my house over the last 5 days. He took out his paint and painted the walls a disgusting green.

So all the things, the words, the actions, all the everything that I felt I was doing to counteract the bad days got colored in shame.

The emotions, the venting, the deep breaths were now ways I was communicating to myself I was not enough. That I was inadequate.

So now, I am sitting here with all these thoughts and realizations and have no clue what to do with them. I have no way to tie up this blog in a neat package.

And that’s ok. 

I’m not going to dwell on the not knowing and I’m going to (try) not to beat myself up.

And I’m going to remember that I am a good human even when I have what seems like 100 reasons that I’m not.

Because it changes things, when you realize how shame first walked in the door.

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