Panic, Dread, Shame…a love note from the road
Life on the road had been beautiful and trying but it is in the trying moments that I am realizing how much shame I have carried in my life.
I am always learning new things. Right now, I’m diving into the way shame shows up in me and in my clients. There are patterns that are woven into the fabric of our culture that shame women for being anything other than sugar and spice and everything nice. I know we are breaking these patterns. Still, most of us are still living them daily without even realizing it.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been in a New York state of mind, wandering the hills of southern New York state. There have been incredible vistas, rolling hills, golden meadows, fields of wildflowers, and even a cool, eclectic coffee shop in the middle of nowhere that had a great cappuccino and a tip cup that read, “I’m a ray of fucking sunshine.” My kind of place. There is beauty everywhere if you’re willing to look for it.
There have also been trying times. I wanted to see some ice caves but the 1.3-mile walk up to the entrance was tired Gracie out and we still have to walk back 1.3 miles. I went waterfall hunting but when I saw how narrow the road was with deep shoulders on each side I felt a little bit of panic about that and turned out of the road.
But I had a real panic moment when I noticed that my phone battery was very low and the car charger wasn’t working and I was in the middle of nowhere. I could feel panic, or maybe dread come over me. My chest and throat got tight and my brain went into overdrive.
On the surface, this panic, felt like I was being cut off from everyone and everything. That I’d never get back home. I know this sounds dramatic…yet that’s what had come over me. It was intense, to say the least.
But as I paid attention to it, and let myself feel the dread and panic, I realized it was an old pattern of shame that came crawling over my flesh. An old memory of being ridiculed, and shamed, for losing my way or getting lost. I have no recollection of the actual event, but that memory lives in the cells of my body.
The shame I felt at that moment had nothing to do with my phone not being charged. In fact, once I allowed myself to be with the shame, to let myself feel it, I was able to come back to myself, to breathe and the solution was simple – charge the phone in the RV cabin, take Gracie for a walk, then find the nearest store to replace the charger.
I’ve experienced this over and over again in my life but this time I was able to witness it in a way I never had before.
I’m proud of myself for reaching this place of self-understanding and being totally okay with it. By that, I mean not shaming myself for feeling the way I did. This is how the shame pattern works. We shame ourselves for the way we feel because our feelings were often invalidated when we were young so we learned to dismiss them. We tell ourselves it’s no big deal, get over it, what’s wrong with me, I shouldn’t feel this way.
Being out here on the road has given me time to slow down and I’m learning to move through these situations with grace…instead of shame. I know I am courageous. I am powerful. I am capable of handling what comes my way. I know you are too.
I’m so into learning how to move beyond old shame patterns, I enrolled in a shame clinic for coaches that starts next month. I can’t wait to dive in and share what I learn with you.
Happy trails…with love,