shame (and then some).

A little over a year ago I read a book that was a game-changer for me, especially in that raw, new time of figuring out life as a mama-writer apart from the securities of a 9-5 job.  Brene Brown is a shame and vulnerability researcher, whom you may be familiar with through TED talks gone viral.  The She Loves magazine book club pick for April was none other than Brown’s 2012 hit, Daring Greatly.  As an occasional contributor, here’s a reflective post I wrote last week on the book.  Enjoy!  


Siobhan and I sit in comfy chairs on the patio. She dabs at her latte, foam crinkling in the cup, and I sip decaf English Breakfast tea with a splash of honey and cream. We wrap blankets around our chests, our laps, our feet, because spring is still springing, and the sun is a sneaky, frigid version of not-so-warm. Although the chairs lean towards each other, they mostly face the blue and green of sky and grass, aimed at backyard fence. I think this makes it easier. Like walking side by side, the intimacy of eye contact becomes a secondary effect, and while we’re still getting to know each other, it’s easier to share those scary and vulnerable pieces of our stories.

Because we soon find ourselves talking about shame.

It wasn’t part of the agenda, but when you have time and space in conversation, when there’s that much room to breathe, and you feel safe and secure under a lap blanket, you run with it. You go for it.

Siobhan stares straight ahead; tears glisten in her eyes, as she tells me the grip shame has held on her life. I didn’t realize how much I’d let it define me until I began writing about it, she states simply. It wasn’t a journaling exercise. My friend isn’t a blogger, nor is she an aspiring author—but in the process of writing a paper for a seminary class, she found herself going back to the idea of shame. And so she began researching shame from a biblical perspective, finding solace in the brave woman who touched the hem of the Healer’s robe; she looked at the concept of shame through a modern-day cultural perspective, wondering how she might apply this to the teenagers she worked with on a daily basis.

“And did you use Brene Brown as a reference?” I ask her, nodding, because of course Brown must have been the instigating force behind her realization.

Siobhan shakes her head, no. She’s never heard of the woman.

The story has only just begun!  Click here to read the rest of the post… Otherwise, what is shame to you?  Have you read (and been changed by) Brown’s work, or is she just another ho-hum, touchy-feely, feel the feels person?

2 thoughts on “shame (and then some).

  1. Brene Brown IS super touchy feely, but I need that in my life! I come from a long line of taciturn Midwesterners and I still regularly find myself exhibiting all the signs of stress without ever realizing what is causing it! (“If we don’t talk about the problem, the problem doesn’t exist.” Yeah, not so much.)

    1. I get it, Sarah, I get it! Sometimes I forget how NORMAL therapy (in general) is to me, and I think a huge part of it is because of its acceptance on the west coast (and within my WC generation as well). But a little touchy-feely is good for all of us every once in awhile. 🙂

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be.

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