unlearning shame at nautilus teachings


i was reading about shame
today for my Brene Brown class
i felt as if she was talking directly to me
because as an artist
i dare to reveal my inner most
secrets, dreams, flaws, scars…
when i first began showing my work
i was extremely hurt
by any off the cuff comment,
“what is that?”
“i don’t like that one, it scares me…”
“is she a known artist?”
to name a very few…
my feelings would get hurt
because i felt worthless
not likable
a failure-
i remember so clearly
sitting in closets as a child to hide
from my brothers continual insistence that
i was ugly, stupid, fat, adopted
or their need to sit upon me
spit on me, hold me down until i wet myself…
i don’t remember my mom speaking much
i knew she was not allowed to punish my brothers
and i would sit
listening to my father tell my mother
“if you were a better mom, the boys
would not be acting like this…”
is shame inherited?

i have worked very hard
to grow past this feeling
and for those of you
who have read my book
Nautilus: A Message of Faith,
you know my story…
because today i am not afraid.
i do stand strong
with courage
faith as my shield
in the knowing
it does not matter
if i sell even one painting
because the revealing
of me
upon canvas
is enough…
and then i think of my adult kids
did i raise them properly
do they have confidence
trust themselves
are they supported enough
and choosing their own paths
do they, themselves feel shame?
i think back to them sitting outside my bedroom
hearing their father belittle me to no end
of them witnessing his knife yielding threats
“go ahead and leave, but you will not take the kids
i will take them so far from you,
you will never find them…”
Brene defines shame as “the most intensely
painful feeling or experience of believing
that we are flawed and therefore
unworthy of love and belonging…”
when i read that i thought -WOWZA!
in a nutshell this is how i felt
for 42 years of my 53 on this earth…
i never ever felt i was good enough
i never shared how i felt about anything
i was so painfully shy –

because my whole life
everyone yelled at me
blamed me
abused me
told me i was trash….
accept my beautiful mom,
she always protected and loved me…
releasing this feeling
has taken time
as of today 12 years…
there are still times
when i feel awkward,
places i am uncomfortable in,
people who intimidate me…
but for the most part
i have grabbed life by
the balls
and said
i am here to stay
no matter what you say,
or how you feel…
i will share my truths
live my truths
and if you don’t like it
buzz off!