Episode 2: Showing Up & The Shame Game

by | Apr 29, 2018

In Episode 2 of the “WHY?!? A Good Grief Network Podcast,” LaUra and Aimee discuss what it means to “show up” in our lives, as activists, and for others. Aimee reflects on Step 9: “Show Up” from our Psychosocial Resilience Program.  Additionally, we explore Brené Brown’s newest episode on On Being, “Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart.”

How does fear keep us from connecting with each other? How does vulnerability, or the willingness to show up in our lives impact our relationships? Why do we unintentionally hurt each other as defense mechanisms? How can we use the moments when we make mistakes to find compassion for others who hurt us? 

Aimee’s Facebook status from April 25, 2015:

What do I do when I’m overwhelmed with life and feel a wide range of emotion?

1) Make a great mix of moving and grooving music while drinking beer
2) Clean apartment while dancing to the great mix, preferably while still drinking beer.
3) Make a Facebook status as a gesture of solidarity and apology for those of my friends posting courageous and necessary political statuses, which I don’t feel rooted or strong enough to deal with right now.
4) Post said status as an act of activism, even though some friends will criticize my lack of a serious status as the result of my middle-class luxury.
5) Remember that self-care is not a luxury. I can’t make a difference and help take care of the world if I don’t know how to take care of myself. In other words, I make sure my oxygen mask is secure before I help others figure theirs out, because otherwise I might pass out and/or die.
6) Feel gratitude for my ability to care for myself, a skill I’ve only developed in recent years.
7) Remember the talk I heard when I lived with nuns–by the legendary activist Fr.John Dear–where he talked about how to sustain yourself as an activist for the lifelong journey, a dialogue so many of us are afraid to have, because we base our activism in shame and “shoulds” instead of faith in greater good grounded in a realistic inventory of what that even means.
8) Believe in LOVE and appreciate Facebook as a place for beautiful and authentic dialogues, even though sometimes I get discouraged by the cruel and judgmental interactions I see.
9) Understand that the cruel and judgmental interactions on Facebook I see are usually what happen when an ego is threatened, which makes a person feel the need to save face. Unfortunately, sometimes saving face looks like cruelty.
10) Remember how many times my ego has been threatened where I resulted to cheap tactics to save face. I don’t remember this to make an excuse for others. I remember this, because it is THIS knowledge that protects me from hate when I see hurtful conversations on Facebook.

This is how I both survive and thrive, depending on the day.

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