I was having a conversation. The person was in a Shame Shit Storm. If you haven’t met Brené Brown on a Youtube, Ted Talk, or on her contribution to Netflix, you have not yet come across one of our current leaders in human self awareness. Brené Brown is a Shame Researcher, one with scientific teams and background, a history of being a professor and researcher, forwarding social dynamics. Her stories are both touching and hilarious. And you will learn from her books or speeches. We are blessed to have her down to earth information!
My friend was in a Shame Shit Storm. But the truth of humanity is that none of us has committed a new “crime”. No one has done anything truly new since the origin of mankind. We are repeating loop after loop. It would be difficult to do ANYTHING that has not been done before, positive or negative, small to so large that it shakes the world. But not really new. Granted, we can find some pretty out there examples of new-ish boundary crossing in the last four years, but it isn’t new to the world order.
In other words, all of us have friends in our boats. We might not like the boat we are in, but we can swim over to another. Warm water, crystal blue. If you don’t like your boat… if the Shit Shame Storm cloud is hovering overhead, swim to a new one. Leave the other behind. Guilt and shame are going to sink that craft anyhow, so it’s better to get wet now than spend time wallowing. Watch some Brené Brown, pull up the swimwear, and dive!
We hold ourselves in these paradigms, self created. This moment is a new moment. If something rocked the world, it is in the past, was a lesson, and can be observed, learned from, and left behind. It can. There are so many ways to meet the new day, to embrace a new story, to create a new world.
The United States faces this challenge. If you don’t feel embarrassed, if you don’t feel a push to dive out of at least one boat, if you are not noticing that our nation has choices that are in front of each of us, you missed the storm brewing overhead. I’d actually say this storm has already capsized the boat and has tried to drown the occupants several times. So if you haven’t noticed that you are either swimming toward other boats (the ones with clear skies overhead) or that you are going under for the third time, you are living in a denial and lack of self awareness that will not only kill you, but have you bring down a group of other swimmers as you drown.
The opposite of self awareness? The denial of a Shit Shame Storm? Peril.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Maybe that’s a part of the denial. Too much. Too hard. Seemingly impossible.
One small stroke. One tiny goal. Start with just one, just simple, just you. Eat a stem of broccoli. Put a can of food in the box at the store. Pay for the person behind you in line. Open to listening. Compassion. A phone call. One small stroke, today, now.
Then add another, and another. We can do this. We can have a better world, a better today, a better future. Just don’t look too far out, because you will see the storm brewing and heading your way. But do focus outward.
Notice that this is not an individual world, but a collective, a group project. See your storm, and then notice that it is shared. Your growth, your stroke, moves the masses.