Lighten your load.
Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again - I have listened to this song on repeat for 3 days.
The universe can be such a crazy place. My last blog happened because of a TED Talk that I bumped into, I didn't look for it, it just found me. And now 2 days later, it has happened again. I stopped by Facebook on my way to Netflix to respond to a message and BAM! another TED Talk appears. The name of the talk is “The Price of Shame” and the presenter is Monica Lewinsky. She talks about how she was patient 0 when it comes to internet scrutiny and public humiliation and she couldn’t have been more right. I remember judging her when the scandal happened. Now I look at her with such empathy for the mistake she made at 22. To know that she almost ended her own life because of the overwhelming cruelty, judgment and shame is heartbreaking. So before you cast your next public stone, look at your own life and remember the mistakes you have made and how you got there. I’m sure even Hillary has a few skeletons of her own. And before you start thinking, "You are a hypocrite Nikki, you just publicly humiliated 4 people!" Read it again.
Monica says the number one question she is getting at the moment is "Why now?" I too have gotten that one a lot in the past few days. Her answer is perfect. She said "Because it's time to re-write my narrative." She is not the whore the world made her out to be. She made the same mistake millions have made before her, unfortunately her mistake was made with the President of the United States and she got caught. At the end of the day, he is just a man and she is just a woman. They are still flawed human beings like the rest of us. When I wrote my last blog, my goal was not to publicly humiliate those people. My goal was to re-write my narrative. The only way to do that is by telling my side of the story. If I wanted to hurt those 4 people, I would not have taken the responsibility for my part. I would have just listed their dirty little secrets and include a few extra lies to add fuel to the fire. But I didn't. I empathized with all of them and made excuses for them as I told my story. I speculated on some things that may have gotten them in some bad situations that resulted in some bad choices. All 4 of those people publicly humiliated me without a second thought. Some of it was true, but a lot of it was lies. If those lies weren't told and the truths weren't taken out of context, I would have no narrative to re-write.
It's funny, in her TED Talk on shame, Brene Brown talks about how she woke up the next day after her vulnerability talk with the worst vulnerability hangover ever. She felt like total shit and just wanted to crawl under a rock and stay there. I completely understand how she felt now. The morning after I posted the first installment of my shame story, I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a bus. The way I have described it to my friends is I feel like I have been up for 3 days cramming for a college exam. I have taken the exam, went out binge drinking and haven't slept yet. And I can't sleep because I have to work and get shit done. I have slept... kinda. But it doesn't feel that way. The moment I hit "publish" on my blog, my phone lit up. I had texts, phone calls, Facebook messages and emails coming at me so fast, that I missed a few. They were from friends, family, acquaintances and much to my surprise, people I thought were my enemy because in one way or another, they were tied to one of the 4 people in that blog. The messages from those people affected me the most. My friends and family always tell me, “You don't have to justify yourself to anyone. The people that really know you know who you are and love you.” So when their support and kind words came in I was so thankful and it brought me to tears, but their opinion was bias before the blog existed. So to have people that were on the other side reach out and support and empathize with me was HUGE. Those people will always have a special place in my heart. Maybe we will even become friends one day. Because THOSE are the kind of friends I want. People that can acknowledge when they are wrong or if they weren't wrong, at least open minded enough to hear the other side and then reach out.
At this very moment I still feel like I’m a rock that got stuck in somebody's tire and they have a lot of errands to run. I know that I will fall out of their tire soon and feel amazing. Hopefully they will hit a pothole driving through the Krispy Kreme and drop me off there. And hopefully the damn light will be ON! It’s kinda like how you feel after you get a massage... sick. All those toxins that had been hiding deep in your muscles are suddenly released and have moved to the surface where you can feel them trying to escape. I guess I need to drink a bunch of water to flush out all this toxic baggage that has been camping out deep in my heart for waaaaaaaaay too long. Or maybe wine...wine might be good.
Here is a link to Monica's talk. You will see her and the situation differently...hopefully.
Brene Brown is the reason for this whole series of blogs. If I have not harassed you personally and demanded you watch them, well that is exactly what i'm doing to you now. I am not a "self help" seeker and not the type of person that goes to therapy. I'm sure a super-sized dose of that shit would do me a world of good. So if you are like me, then you will never watch these videos. I'm telling you, that decision is a mistake. Over 19 million people have watched the first one on vulnerability...so I'm sure they would back me up. I actually like the second one on shame even better. Take a chance, you and the people around you will be glad you did!