Sharon Did Nothing Wrong

The day before this past Thanksgiving I moved locally.  Not the best Thanksgiving on record, moving alone and carrying boxes up and down the stairs all day. Gratitude finally gave way to the sucky day I was having, grateful for the warm and sweet condo up against the mountains that was now mine. In between the boxes, I made arrangements for my utilities and wifi to be hooked up. Check.
I eagerly typed in my my IP address and password. As I looked for my address on the screen, there it was among the cryptic codes such as Centurylink4578 to Wifey. One of my neighbors wifi address in my condo complex blaringly read:
Whoa. Being an artist, mainly an artist of life, this address stopped me in my tracks. Sharon did nothing wrong???  I mean, the shame screamed so loud that Sharon actually made a statement defiantly against her shame all the way down to this admission being her IP address. What was she accused of? Did she actually do it? Enquiring minds wanted to know. I wanted to walk into the middle of my condo complex and shout out for Sharon. “Sharon, please come out so I can give you a hug”, I half-jokingly thought to myself. I resisted, knowing the neighbors would immediately think this new neighbor of theirs was a loon. 
And then I started to feel proud of whoever Sharon was. Proud of all of us. We all have shame, both small and large, but she was looking shame straight in the eye.
I wondered, is Sharon sad? Scared? Ashamed? Or has she realized, like me, that we ALL carry around shame? But, hardly is shame talked about because shame is the fear of disconnection. And God knows, we don’t want to be excluded from the tribe. WE are hardwired for connection, love and belonging, Brene Brown reminds us.
Fast forward to three nights ago. I am at a breath work class in yoga, me the crone compared to the twenty some things around me. I can barely hear the instructor because I’m too shameful in front of my cohorts to say my hearing is not that good compared to your younger ears. The instructor comes over. She soothingly rubs my arms and in her gentle almost inaudible way says, “you can let go, you don’t have to hold it all together”. After she walked away, I fought back the tears.  
I thought back to Sharon who did nothing wrong. In that moment, I realized my tears were somehow tied up with Sharon’s shame (Sub Sharon for our universal shame) and my budding desire like never before to be honest with myself. My wobbly-ass attempt of holding it all together came crescendoing down like an avalanche, like when I try to do mountain pose. 
My shame gremlins were begging to be seen…Big and small shame came flooding in. Like the woman on the pier in San Francisco patting my belly in front of my boyfriend at the time saying, “oh how nice, you have baby coming”. I wasn’t pregnant. Or the bigger shames like actually being twenty-four, pregnant and asking the priest to marry us, him walking us to the door when he found out I was pregnant. In that moment it was the ultimate in shame…you are dirty and bad. I would have a few words for him today, but mainly for myself, holding her hand, that scared young woman I was, compared to the woman I have finally become.
 For me, this year is about turning scared into sacred.  But, how do we do this? I know that resistance, denial and non-acceptance are the recipe to keep that shame alive and well. That certainty and focus vs. fear and avoidance are the keys to letting shame go. We all know this extrinsically, but how do we make these much needed changes to let go and set ourselves free? Isn’t that the whole crux of the banana in our healing?
So again, HOW do we do this? 
I believe the greatest gift we can give ourselves is UNDERSTANDING and REWRITING our greatest shame. Literally. We must disable our old outworn sad stories we tell ourselves over and over again. Financially, mentally, physically emotionally and spiritually.  Because that is what keeps that little shame monster calling the shots. 
That is the basis of my work and I want to share that with you in my upcoming workshop in March called, Herstory. In this in depth workshop we will tame the shame through rewriting our stories, share our stories, play and create. Truly, what if there is nothing to be ashamed of? I know shame also lives in isolation, so we will approach this together. Because, let’s face it, we’re all in fact in this together. 
And if I meet Sharon, I am going to say, “Give it up. The smallness. The conditions. The fears. The doubts. The lack of reverence for yourself. The belief that somehow things are not going to work out”. 
But most of all, I will tell her, “Sharon, you did nothing wrong, but thanks for sharing”.
Nancy + Team Sweet Bird