Shame, Mindfulness, and Letting Go
A sampling of hope
Posted Jan 01, 2020
Whether one actually starts on January 1st with an official New Year's Resolution or not, we all have hopes and goals for each brand new year. I love hearing what friends and family members decide to concentrate on, and always learn so much from them. So on New Year's Eve, I took a very unscientific sampling.
From deep, personal insights to practical goals and some preparation for life's milestones, what I found are sentiments that are all easily amended to the specifics of our own lives.
"I would like to be less reactive to people's differences," says Lily Goldsmith. "Just overall to be a kinder, more understanding, person."
Do Right By Me
"I have been told for years and years that my #1 character flaw is that I always find the good in everyone and focus on that even when they show me their true colors," says Cheri Leavitt. "I get taken advantage of and trust when I shouldn't: I need to do right by me."
"This past year has been a test and practice of mindfulness and positivity, which helped me gain remission. I truly hope to move past 'practice' and have this mindset solidified, moving forward without slipping into old habits," wrote Kathy Blackmore. "Why give cancer a second chance?"
Check the Door and Read Real Books
"To remember to check if the garage door is closed before I leave the driveway," stated Sarah Perry.
It seems this is a pretty standard frustration among busy moms of teens in my circle, as another friend, Kristin Deckert chimed in with a product recommendation that's helped her with this problem. Kristin, when asked about her own resolutions, shared her thoughts:
"I don't always do resolutions, but when I do it has to do with reading real books, not internet articles. I read my Bible each day, but I used to constantly do other reading, but social media and internet articles really ate into that time."
"I'd like to be better at remembering my 18-year old son doesn't need me to 'mother him.' I need to let him do things even if it's not what or how I would do it," wrote Nicole Hitchcock. "For this control freak, it's incredibly hard!"
Quite a few friends at this same milestone point in motherhood, including myself, seconded this goal.
One of my dearest friends, Kelly Light, has had a very tough few years. She spent a great deal of this time being introspective, as her world literally turned upside down starting with a nasty divorce. That process was finally completed in 2019, and, like so much of her difficult journey, she learned some important things about herself. Shame is something we all struggle with and yet no one really talks about it. Kelly's bravery, both in facing the monsters in her life, and in coming out the other side of the ringer with her identity not only intact but measurably strengthened, is contagious, and so I end on her words:
"I have never been one for resolutions. I was always one to make wishes on stars. I don’t do that anymore: stars, like people, can shoot away and disappear. I am still working on my After Life, inside and out. Each choice to move forward and do things for myself and for a new life, helps.
My wish for 2020 for you and for me is to shed shame.
Shame that someone else dumped on us.
Shame that we made gigantic mistakes.
Shame that people judge us. That is not our problem.
Shame from rules that no longer apply whether from childhood or church or parents or marriage or career or from the idea of what we thought everything was 'supposed to be.'
Shame that we are not what we once were. We are turning into someone new."