Shame is a double-edged sword. Shame is something that is a natural reaction we should have when we do something bad, so that our brain tells us, "This isn't a good feeling. You probably shouldn't do this again." But shame is also used to condition people. Shame is a tool used to "keep people in line" and in that respect, shame is very dangerous indeed.
Some of you saw the picture I posted of the woman sitting on the park bench the other day. After sleeping on it I was really disappointed in myself that I had stooped to my old Melanie ways of making fun of something that was not appropriate to make fun of. I apologize to everyone who had to see it, and I am ashamed that I did it. It is the only thing I've ever removed from this blog. I feel that it is one thing to make fun of someone for a choice: like a mullet, or crocs, or taking a phone in to the restroom. It is entirely different to make fun of someone for a life consequence. I am working on it, but I am human.
I try and not be ashamed of much. I try and celebrate both my strengths and my flaws. The flaws that I am working on and was born with. But I also strive to make life choices where those flaws are not the things which define me. I don't want to be known as "that lady who has no boundaries." I don't strive to be the female Daniel Tosh. Not that that guy isn't hilarious, he is. I just would never want to be that way. I want to live more compassionately. I'm learning that compassion may not be something that comes naturally to me. I'm also learning that when something sets me off or I'm feeling bad about me, is when I'm lashing out to make fun of something I shouldn't be. It's weak and it's fear-based, and I don't like it. I know I'm too hard on myself, but I would've obsessed over that picture for weeks had I not pulled it down, so I did what I had to do.
Often times I see people shaming others in to certain behaviors. Talking about being fat as a way to shame their children/friends in to not eating something. Talking about going to hell as a way to shame people in to acting a certain way. Talking about gender roles as a way to shame someone from acting outside the norm. More than any other society, ours has ways of shaming people in to falling in line and becoming one of the sheeple. It's a hard thing to resist, and it makes me worried for the future. I don't see it getting better. I see it getting worse.
I realize that no matter how much I grow, I am still ashamed of SO MANY things. I am ashamed of my obsessive compulsive behaviors. It may seem like I'm not because I talk and write about them so often, but I am ashamed. There is a sick part of me that thinks if I were good enough, or smart enough, I could defeat them. That if I just worked harder I wouldn't have to sweep my kitchen three times a day. That if I just thought harder I wouldn't have to sneak a weigh in, in mid month, when I am trying to only weigh myself once a month. That if I was a better person, gaining 3 pounds wouldn't send me to the ground in a crying heap of human, because no matter how much I say "focus on health not weight" I still have a magical number in my head that if I get beyond, crushes me down to my core.
There still is, and will always be, that tormented and unhealthy side of me that will never think I'm good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough. There is the part of me that knows I write this blog selfishly as a way to purge, but also hopes that it will help someone or make someone smile, or let them know they aren't alone. But then there's the part of me that thinks, "Why would anyone want to read THIS?" I am still shocked every single day when I see how many people read this (looking at stats a gazillion times a day obsessively - check!). I am astounded that anyone other than my friends comments and can relate. I like the blog community, but it also causes me a lot of anxiety. So thanks to all of you who come by here every day to read my ramblings. You truly are appreciated.
Happy picture of the day: requires no explanation. And if this picture doesn't make you smile you may not have a soul. I am madly in love with it.