It is Your Right to be Shamelessly Shameless
Over the years I have been closeted in the most extraordinary of places. This time I would like to talk about being locked up in those dark spaces I will call shame.
Shame because I am a woman - implicitly or explicitly I have had family, friends and strangers tell me what I can or cannot do, say or think as a woman. And for the longest time I believed them.
Shame because my body - in all the phases of life often a first encounter with family, friends and strangers is their (unnecessary often unsavoury) comments - good or bad about our looks, body size, shape, weight you name it they say it. It is one of the most off putting habit most of us have internalised with barbs of innocuous comments. And there is a special room in the bowels of hell for those who believe in the false dichotomies of “beautiful and ugly people.” Ugh.
Shame because love - I am increasingly learning to simply leave in my past anyone who made me feel humiliated about my intense feelings, those averse to talk to their loved ones about their feelings for you no matter what their reasons (excuses) are, those that hesitate or forget or erase public acknowledgement of you deeming it as unnecessary or too revealing, those that prefer to practice ‘niceness’ publicly rather than take the unpopular route and simply be on your team unapologetically, those that trivialise love and gestures, those that take advantage of others, take for granted or as a given the countless sacrifices we make, step in and out whenever it suits or pleases them. Most of us do this a lot. Take a quick scan of the existing space YOU currently occupy publicly, in terms of proportion, how much of it actually acknowledges your significant other? Now see how deliberately evasive and vague you have been whether intended or not is immaterial (and I am sure you have a perfectly ‘good excuse’ at your tongue tip because excuses are what we do best).
Love is a gift which needs acknowledgment to thrive.
Shame because of choices - there are those inherently cannot respect another person’s choice... and are fixated constantly on belittling the choices others make, berating them for the mistakes, bullying, sanctioning someone by saying ‘its my way or highway’, patronising, being manipulative and controlling. Interestingly there are those who also impose their choices and decisions which they cannot follow through and make their independent mistakes “someone else's problem” when things get thick... I have equal measure of disdain for all these scenarios.
It is interesting how these few things constitute such a big part of my life. And to think how much I take from those who yank me this way and that into their closets of shame making me live there with their fears, bad decisions, insecurities and anxieties. Why do I do it? Why do I hold on to the unpleasantness of people, situations and things stuck in their self-imposed cages for the sake of sentimentality? I ask myself this with no real tangible response. What I have though is this one life, finite and unpredictable time left on earth and a precious few people and things that work. I am done chasing people, clouds and hazy dreams. It is time to let go of past ruminations.....
I am coming out of the closet of being constantly hidden and shamed because of who I am.... I am me in all my complexities and that is all I offer; a woman in shape and form that is enough, who is re-learning to love and be loved by people who choose her every day and who is incredibly proud of the good, bad and ugly choices she has had to make over the journey of life. I invoke that this sensibility washes over me and that I am reborn to start living, actually living stepping out of the shadows and seclusions we shroud in until we shrivel and die.