Tag Archives: Shame

Generosity. #reverb14

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Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?

My mother was generous. She laughed a lot, gave what she could and when we needed help, help was given to our family. I made it to the age of 13 knowing that people were warm and kind. That when you suffered, that was the best time to help others.

We were one of those families that have their names, ages and a small wish list put upon some random office or school Christmas tree. People fulfilled those wishes for us. It was nice. I remember sitting on the twin size bed that shared a room with my brother’s at my dad’s apartment, playing with the slime lab that I was given. We got some clothes, some toys. People always gave us food.

After my mom died, I learned that not everyone was generous. I remember being 15 and asking my dad for lunch money, $20. Enough for $1 a day, which was the bare minimum to have a lunch, a cup of noodle soup. He gave me $5. My friends fed me and then I got a job when I was 16. This is not new information. I’ve mentioned this many times.  But I learned from him that sometimes when you ask for what you need, the bare minimum, you don’t even get that. I learned the feeling of shame and guilt in asking for anything.

My goal is that whoever comes to me for help, I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed. So, I give. Love, joy, time, concern, sometimes I can even afford gifts. I want Josh to always feel cozy and loved at home. Home should be a safe space. I give big hugs, because people forget how wonderful they can be. I’ve had someone cry in my arms because of how loving my hug was. FOR REALZ. She just burst into tears. She was, incidentally, a big crier. But still. My hug made someone cry in joy.  I want to be that safe space for people.

I’ve been lucky in that my life is full of generous people. I always feel like I take more than I give. It is a perpetual guilt that I feel. My car, my home, even my bed are mine because of my friends’ generosity. There are beautiful things in my life because people have given them to me. I’ve gone to wonderful places and had great times because of my friends’ generosity. I feel grateful to them but also awkward,  because I’ll never be able to give them the things they give me. How can I ever match the joy and love they provide me with?

I try to make the world better in little ways that mean so much to other people. I don’t like talking about it because it’s not about getting a pat on the back. It’s about making a conscious choice to make a difference. When I’m having a hard time in life, I try to give, because making someone else happy makes my day better too.

With all that said, I’m still a dick. I’m still judgmental and abrupt. Making people uncomfortable with my honesty will always be an unfortunate side effect of being me. Awkwardness is embraced and accepted. I just know that I can do small things to make others happy, so I do those things.  Cultivating my generosity is something that I try to do daily. Sometimes I fail, but most days, I can get one or two things done to make someone’s day brighter.

So, thank you. Thank you for helping me through my life.

Down into the darkness #reverb14

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Despite our usually sunny dispositions and dedication to the practice of “assuming positive intent,” we all occasionally find ourselves having to deal with an incredibly unpleasant individual.
While I’m sure you always handle it with the tact and finesse for which you’ve become so well known, I’m going to ask you to step outside yourself for just a moment.
Think back to such a situation: if the gloves were off, how you really would have liked to have dealt with them?

I would have liked to let him suffer his actions. I would not have come to the rescue.

I would not have cleaned up his messes and instead left him to his own.

Because fuck him. And everything he’s done. And fuck my sense of obligation.

If I was a bad person, I would have allowed him what he wanted and was working on achieving and I would not feel ashamed of this darkness that nurtures that feeling.

Sneak attack answer! #reverb11

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Disappointment – What was the one disappointment that has turned out to be a blessing in the last 12 months? How will this affect how you deal with disappointment in the future?

 

I thought this was going to be easy.  My marriage.

Him.

But as I sat to write this, I realized that I’m most disappointed in myself. I am disappointed in my lack of will over the last 6 years. Watching the destruction or near destruction of friends, family and life as I knew it. I allowed this to happen by not stopping it. I am ashamed of myself. I have a hard time talking to certain people who knew me at the beginning of my relationship with him. I’m ashamed of who I was, who I allowed myself to be. Between the two of us, we destroyed trust and faith and love. Him, by not knowing how to do anything but hate himself, and me by trying to fix anything that broke.

That’s not me. I don’t think that many people would describe me as weak, or soft willed. I’m not that person. But then again, I obviously am. I just want you to like me! If you need something and I give it to you without a second thought, you’ll like me, right? And you’ll keep me, right? I love you. Please love me back. Who the fuck is this needy bitch? Apparently, that needy bitch is me.

The shame reached a crescendo in January. Tears welled up as I looked at the person I had become. How can I fix it? How can I make it right? I started by giving myself permission to change ANYTHING necessary to do what was right. That included my marriage. As I look back, I’m astounded at the journey I forced myself on with sheer stubbornness. But life is like that, yes? You look back on old you and think, “Oh, you. You poor sad, unknowing thing, you.”

Realizing my shame – my disappointment – in myself made it so that I allowed change to happen. I embraced it. This has opened something new inside me.

Did you know that you can choose to do what you want when you want, and it’s not required of you to make others happy?

Tell me more…

I learned that just because someone else is lonely, I don’t have to rush to their side. Just as they wouldn’t rush to mine. I learned to watch other’s cues on how they maintain healthy self-love (ignore the 12yr old inside your brain that’s giggling). I am learning how to be selfish in a good, healthy way. When MY needs come up, I jump. When others come up, I think of similar moments, apply what I’ve learned and step back to see how things proceed. I offer support, but I don’t force myself to support.

I’m trying to be a woman who cares about herself more than catering to others. That’s right. This needy bitch is seeing to her own needs. WHAT!