The challenge of Day 9, by Mary Jaksch: [Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.]
There is one special memory I can’t write about. I can’t. One day maybe and then probably in a fictitious narrative, not through my own personal voice, it would have to be in third person. It’s still toxic. Why?
S . H . A . M . E
[while guilt is a painful feeling of regret and responsibility for one’s actions, shame is a painful feeling about oneself as a person.]
It’s not guilt I feel, because I don’t regret my experiences. But shame is what has rooted itself in me as a vampire that comes and goes as it pleases, as I did the mistake to invite it into my soul in the first place.
One particular action I did was against everything I stood for and believed in. I succumbed. I caved. I violated an important part of me. I am afraid to write about that shame. Not of shame in general, but about that specific shame connected to a specific event. I am not afraid for my part but for the effect it would have on people who are the most precious to me. Enough said.
To always do what you are afraid of? Well, that doesn’t apply everywhere and/or always. Not in my mind or my heart. Period. If someone were afraid to die, I wouldn’t tell him or her to die to confront the fear. But metaphorically and symbolically to always do what you are afraid of, yes. If we fear to look at ourselves honestly, in the glory of our brilliance or in the shadow of our shortcomings, the bravest thing to do is to take one (well, probably continuously) hard good look at ourselves. But do it with compassion, because usually we don’t appreciate what we find. We get blinded by truth. I found shame and I am learning to accept myself for it and look at it straight-backed.
One day I hope to let go of that memory in a way that releases the shame. And when I do, it might very well be that this particular memory is best left unsaid. Maybe…or I might write a masterpiece about it.