Shame, fear, sunday school and writer's conference
I woke up this morning and the feelings of shame and embarrassment from yesterday still hadn't passed. I grumped my way off to the grocery store and felt no better. Perhaps even worse. So I began to really analyse what was going on in my head and maybe outside my head.
I've been reading Brene Brown's book I thought was just Me (But it Isn't) - telling the truth about perfectionism, inadequacy and power, which really is a good read about shame, why it occurs and how to if not get over it, at least neutralise it's power.
She talks about there being a lot of shame around knowledge and superiority. The more knowledge you have in an area of life the less shame you are likely to feel, especially if you are qualified. For example, I would never stand up to give a talk on autism to professional doctors and psychologists because I would be ashamed to think I could contribute to their knowledge. I'm just a mum while they are the ones with the real experience and professionalism.
Generally if you lack knowledge or experience in the area of life you are pursuing, you'll hang back and be quiet about your ignorance. Blaring it to the world shows you up and you get shamed.
I lack knowledge and experience in dealing with publishers and agents and it came out yesterday and I felt small and stupid.
Brene Brown then says that in order to neutralise the shame you need to acknowledge it, feel what it feels like and then find empathy and connection with someone. So that's what I'm doing. And one day I'll have the knowledge and experience I need. And boy will I bend over backwards to help other new writers who are looking for their way in!
So much for the shame. What about the desperation I felt yesterday? My husband has the theory that feeling desperate means you're probably running ahead of God in that area of your life. Which may or may not be true. I'm not sure yet. I'll have to think about it.
However, what I can say is that there is a certain amount of fear in desperation, at least the way I experience it. When I'm desperate I'm scared. Scared that what I hope for will never happen. Scared that I'll never succeed. Scared that I'll be a failure or a half-baked wanna-be.
Perhaps ironically, I was called in to teach sunday school yesterday because of a mis-scheduling. The story I did was Esther. What I taught the children was basically this: Esther was very frightened because of the big problem. But she was the only person who could really do anything. She prayed and got everyone else around her to pray and then she had the courage to talk to the king and get the big problem fixed.
So there you go. The answer to the fear in my desperation is to pray. I guess I need to do more praying about the things that I don't even realise I'm in fear about.
You know? Just by writing all of this down I feel quite a lot better...