I’ve been struggling for the last few weeks. It’s been easy to blame it on so much travel and the uncertain waiting but I finally realized it was more than that (although that would have been enough for me).
I’m embarrassed that we aren’t leaving when we thought we were (this coming weekend). I’m embarrassed that we don’t know when we are leaving. I’m embarrassed that we tried, for so long, to get a visa we didn’t qualify for. I’m embarrassed that this process is taking longer than we thought. I’m embarrassed every time someone asks us a question about Mongolia and we don’t know the answer (which happens a lot). I’m embarrassed that I don’t have a lot of emotional resiliency; I’m more easily offended and it takes me longer to shake things off. I’m embarrassed every time we submit an expense report wrong.
All of that embarrassment, unchecked by truth, has simmered into a nice little shame reduction.
Shame says, “There must be something wrong with me.” Something wrong with me for being the kind of person who isn’t in control, for being the kind of person who isn’t perfect, the kind of person who doesn’t know everything about everything. Just reading that you can see how foolish shame is.
But, oh, shame is powerful.
Shame has been stealing joy and crushing hope. Shame has feeding me sugar-coated lies: “It’s possible to know everything. If you try hard enough you can become perfect,” and other self-protective, ego-centric, soul-crushing ambitions.
Shame has been making me so. . tired.
I would really like to wrap this up sharing about how I laid all of this at the cross and felt great relief and am now going about my way a completely changed and renewed person. But I’m not there yet. Recognizing shame for what it was is about all I have the energy for right now. Writing about it, giving it words, helps too. Also, breakfast and a nap will help. But the process of shaking off the cumulative effects of embarrassment and shame will take some time, as will with process of improving my lie/shame radar so I can see this stuff coming sooner. It will also take time to fight lies and shame with truth.
But I think I’ve turned a corner and I’m not planning to bring shame with me.