After reading the book I Thought it Was Just Me (but it isn't), I've been turning over in my head the concept of shame. The book discusses how women, in a constant quest for perfection, spend too much time and energy creating a perception of themselves to present to the world. We feel this need to portray a perfected and edited version of who we really are to the people around us so that everyone feels we "have it all together". And in an attempt to fit the mold we assume is expected, we learn to hide our struggles to protect ourselves from shame, judgement, criticism, and blame by seeking "safety" in pretending and perfection. Being imperfect does not mean we are inadequate.
In writing my blog, I feel as though I allow myself to be much more open than I would be in real life. I disclose alot of a very private portion of my life. Yes, sometimes I exclude a number of emotional details, but overall a very large fraction of my life gets disclosed in A Peace Of Tam. I find it to be very therapeutic that my day-to-day joys, anxieties, stresses, and imperfections get released via typing, posting and sharing. Even if it doesn't get "shared" to the WWW, I am not holding anything in. At the least, someone I know, love and trust hears what's going on so that I can get some guidance. Sometimes, I actually debate to myself that I'm not telling you enough in APT. "Do they need to know more? Should I mention the details of why I was feeling this way? Is that too much?" I have almost no shame, but I wrestle with whether it's appropraite or customary to share some details. I am not sharing it in search of sympathy or attention, I just hope to help, motivate inspire and encourage others. Maybe whatever I'm dealing with someone else is dealing with as well, you are not alone. That is my hope, but is it too much sometimes? Why do I even have to question that? Then I thought, maybe A Peace of Tam just isn't the appropriate platform for what I am hoping to accomplish. Maybe there is some other way we can share and I don't have to concern myself am I divulging too much in an attempt to save myself and the world...
Having to pretend perfection is tiring, I gave up on it awhile ago. It's just too much and no one should have to do it. The fact that us as women, specifically black women, feel the need to hold it all in, carry it all alone, struggle by ourselves is ridiculous and it makes me sad. I remember when I was that woman... and I would not wish that loneliness on my worst enemy. We do not have to live in shame, in fear of judgement, and in a constant search for acceptance. As women, we need to support one another and realize it is actually our imperfections that connect us to each other. It is our imperfections that remind us that we are all human and in this together. And although A Peace of Tam may not be the proper stage for me to reveal my every worry, insecurity, "shame trigger"... my living room is! (I have not ran this by J yet, but he supports me) And I am inviting you all to come over for some Women's Real Talk. Everyday I feel the desire to hear and help and there has to be a way to do this. I don't want to witness another woman, sister, friend go through something that could have been avoided had we all just talked it out. I've been through it already and no one else should have to. And if you already are, you should not be doing it alone. There is no shame in your situation.
"We need our lives back. It’s time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection – the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives.”
I seriously propose, we as women come together and just talk about any and everything. I will think more on this and iron out all the details, but I feel an urgency about this. And I plan to make it happen. If you're interested or have any ideas feel free to comment, message me on facebook, or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is serious bidness! (yet, I made a joke by saying "business" as bidness, lol) I'm still me... with no shame!!!!
That's my peace!