Today I am writing about a feeling that I would prefer not to feel: shame! Brené Brown writes in one of her books: “If we become sufficiently aware of shame to be able to name and express it, we deprive it of its basis of existence. Shame hates to be put into words.” Alright, Mrs Brown, I am ready to rumble: it’s about the publication of my last article “Soul Journey” – the walk through the ultra-orthodox neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem – which got me into a small shitstorm.
After sending my article to my subscribers, I share the post on Facebook. It all starts with a woman writing that my article is researched incompletely, which I quickly invalidate. Because my blog is not about investigative journalism, but about expressing my experiences, my feelings and my insights. Another person insinuates that I am making fun of the people in Mea Shearim, gets a lot of likes as well as “I agree” comments. The discussion gains momentum while I am on the train and have no Wifi. So I’m standing in a minefield. And just like that… without preannouncement, this bitter taste of being bad and having done something bad creeps in.
When I ask my friend Birgit to look at the fb comments and she can’t find it anywhere, the scales fall from my eyes: I accidentally posted it in a Facebook group where my article has no place at all.
I delete the post, but am still blushed with shame. Because there are a few women in this fb group I really like. And it is those who have judged my lines without questioning the context… Yes, it is the exclusion that is particularly painful for me and creates shame. Birgit was able to give me the empathy I so desperately needed at that moment. Because the antidote to shame is compassion.
“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness we will discover the infinite power of our light,” says Brené Brown. All right, dear Brené – I’m still practising 😉