I was inspired by JZ’s interview where he publicly and very vulnerably shared his confession of cheating on Beyonce. JZ motivated me to share my own secret shame while it’s still alive in me.
It’s easier to share my weaknesses “after the fact.” Oh, yes, I learned that lesson in the past, let me tell you what I learned and how wise I am now as a result, so you can be impressed. There’s a subtle implication each time I share something I’ve learned from the past, that I’m beyond that lesson now. Therefore, it’s not only safer, but indeed I can appear (at least to myself) noble and wise.
I’m not fully out of this lesson yet…so I’m trying something new. I’m sharing my process while it’s still active and raw.
A friend called me last week asking for emotional support around a challenge she was having. No problem, I’m expert at being there for someone else. Her courage to reveal her very childlike emotional challenges (and this from a super high functioning professional friend and colleague I greatly respect) not only touched me but shined a light on how I had been hiding my own emotional pain from anyone and everyone. As she was wrapping up, clearly this was an opportunity for “my turn, “a perfect time to confess my own pain. But how could anyone possibly understand MY pain? I had been wrapped in my subtly arrogant isolationism for several weeks now.
After she said “Sure, tell me what’s happening for you,” I blurted out my depression in being physically ill for the past four weeks. On the heels of just beginning to regain my full-strength post open-heart surgery number two, only a few short months ago, I was fully immersed in self-pity, head congestion, fatigue and depression and no one, would possibly understand or be able to help me out of my apathy. I’d been to the doctor, I was on antibiotics (which added to the emotional depression) but most significantly, I found it super hard to break out of this pattern of apathy and get into self-care action.
I think the piece around apathy was where I was hiding most of my shame. I knew the alternative wholistic steps I could take to get better but had no inner motivation to do any of it.
After taking the cork out of the bottle and confessing my ugly self-pitying saboteur, something shifted. The next day I was able to go into action mode. The hidden “charge” dissipated. I got out my neti pot, I started vaporizing, did an enema, made an anti-viral drink, did yoga and sat in the sun. My head is still congested, but my immune system has started to wake up a notch, a challenging delicate balance for a heart transplant recipient with a continually suppressed immune system.
Shame of apathy kept me in isolation. After all, I’m the Transpersonal Energy Healing Therapist. I’m the one who helps others out of apathy, so how could I possibly allow myself to be there, let alone confess this to another?
Amazingly, being back to work even with all these continued symptoms is a wonderful gift of getting out of myself. But it was not enough to forget myself in my work, because I can no longer escape self-reflection. Time and time again, both with my clients and myself I am reminded how the pain of my weaknesses is only mitigated by confession to a non-judgmental witness, friend, healer or therapist. Granted, its doesn’t always have to be as public as this for sharing to be effective. I could have stopped after sharing this with my friend, but somehow, I wanted to go public with this one. Perhaps sharing this with you will facilitate another positive shift for me. So, I thank you in advance, for taking a moment to read this and my hope is that it will give you incentive, when, if and as needed, to break out of isolation, to reach out and share your struggles.
There is a humbling beauty that lives in the recognition and willingness to expose vulnerability. It models an interesting brand of courage that both my friend and JZ demonstrated for me. My goal is to live in surrender, not as a concept but as an experience. That feels a bit more real to me today.