Monday, December 17, 2012

The Truth of Shame

Shame is a funny thing. Funny meaning odd, not hilarious. There's nothing hilarious about shame. Nothing at all. But what I didn't realize until recently is that shame is personal. It stems from different beginnings/acts/circumstances with different people. It carries with it a stamina that is often self-inflicted. It's a real downer. Though we can learn from it. Live through it.

I agreed to read DANCING AT THE SHAME PROM sharing the stories that kept us small which is a collection of personal essays written by women who have carried shame with them for many years.

Admittedly, when I began reading the essays I wondered why in the world these women thought they had anything at all to be ashamed of. Probably because I, for the most part, equate shame with an act committed by the person carrying the shame. But that's not the only way one develops shame.

Sometimes, shame comes to us in childhood when we are developing cognitively and some loser asshole adult does something and then, successfully, transfers the shame to us. Sometimes it's a harsh tone or insensitivity used during a developmental milestone. Sometimes shame comes when we let the narrow-minded opinions others have of us affect us negatively. And, sometimes, shame comes to us when we commit that act that we wish we hadn't.

Regardless of how it comes about, shame is real. And it can be carried for a lifetime.

I'm still not sure why some of the essayists carried shame. But they did. And it was real to them.

What the collection did for me was to open my eyes to shame. Now, instead of blowing off someone because I don't think what happen/who they are is shameful I hope I will tend more towards respecting the fact that their shame is their own and realize that what I'm really doing is judging their shame. That's totally not cool. Besides, it doesn't take understanding the shame to help someone out. It just takes compassion.

WOW (Women On Writing) is planning on giving 5 bloggers an opportunity to win a second copy of the book for a giveaway. Since that isn't happening for a few weeks yet, I thought I'd give y'all a chance to share my copy.

Here's what I'm thinking- I'll randomly choose a name from those of you who are interested and then, after that person reads it, they pass it on to another reader of their choosing.

Just let me know in the comment section if you're interested!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It sounds like a interesting book Pam.

  3. It sounds interesting to me. I've read a few books on shame, but not stories about real life experiences. I've struggled with shame for years, but have worked through it a lot over the past two years. My hopes are that as I talk honestly about some of those things that I was formerly ashamed of, on my blog, that others will feel less alone in their shame.

  4. yes please!!! I have no shame in asking for something I would like to share but I have plenty of shame I would like to get rid of.

  5. What a great idea to keep it circulating. I'd love to read it.

  6. I'd love to read it also Pam and forward it on to the next person. There is plenty in the behind that I wish I could of taken care of differently and I've held on to those things for so many year but to speak about them or share them ... I don't think I can/could.
    Take care Pam and have an awesome evening. Blessings!

  7. Hi All! Thanks for your feedback.

    Hi Pam!

    Thank you so much for reading and reviewing our book. I'm sure Seal will send a giveaway copy to one of your readers - that's no problem at all. I love hearing everyone's points of view here- keep the dialogue going in your own circles. We want to rid shame from the planet!



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