For the past few months, I have been contemplating the idea of gathering a group of women to discuss Shame and how this emotion has shown up in our lives at specific times, how it affected us and how we let go of it.
I am always the one in a group observing and paying close attention to what is said. I have always been this way, for as long as I can remember. It is a quality my mother always pointed out to me. I’ve always been fascinated with how the mind reacts to certain situations and how we are affected by them. I guess I always pursued a quest for understanding, perhaps because not all the time I’ve been understood nor I’ve been shown compassion.
Shame is a concept that always comes up among conversations, especially within women. No matter if it is trauma or a happy event, there is at least one person who will always try to shame us for something: the decisions we made, how we dress, how we eat, the careers we pursued, just anything. This emotion is overwhelming and a hard spot to be in, it causes us to question ourselves, our worth and even leads us to more serious problems like addiction, eating disorders and suicide.
Everyone has experienced shame and this emotion shows up in familiar places, parenting, money, and work, health, body image, sex, aging, religion. Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, in The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (Hazelden, 2010) says: “To feel shame is to be human.” She also states that shame “is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. We’re afraid that people won’t like us if they know the truth about who we are, where we come from, what we believe, how much we’re struggling, or, believe it or not, how wonderful we are when soaring.”
I have been lucky enough to have surrounded myself with strong-minded women all my life but at the root of that strength, shame has made appearances. I know this from my own personal experience and it is for this reason that I wanted to gather these women to share our stories and give hope to those women still dealing with shame and its remnants.
It is with great honor that I reveal Wendy Angulo Productions final project for 2017: Lifting the Burden of Shame, a collection of essays written by women* about the role of shame in their lives. Examining shame through a prism of race, sexuality, religious beliefs, mental health, infidelity, marriage, body image, gender, employment, and relationships. These powerful stories illustrate the language and impact of shame and how it can be overcome.
Beginning this Thursday, December 7, 2017, two essays will be published weekly, one every Thursday and one every Saturday.
I am honored by these women’s trust for accepting the invitation to participate, for allowing me to use this platform to share their stories and be a beacon of hope, resilience, and compassion to other women.
Tomorrow, the journey of Lifting the Burden of Shame begins. Join us!
*After the debut of the series I decided to open this platform to all voices. The Lifting the Burden of Shame series is: A collection of essays written by people of color, which also highlights the voices of other marginalized and/or silenced groups about the role of shame in their lives. The first part of the series focused on pieces from Women, Femmes, and Non-binary voices, and the second part of the series will focus on pieces from Men and Masculine presenting voices.