“Look, Christy, here’s how the other half lives!” My friend marveled at the beautiful homes, not realizing I used to live there…
I find myself in a potentially paralyzing predicament. Those of you who read Life Saving Words from My 7 Year Old (Whose Birth Triggered My PPD) know what I’m talking about. After spending my life gladly helping others through tough times, I am trying to figure out how to take care of my family of 4 with $400 and no paycheck in sight.
Knowing that I have co-created this isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I alternate between feeling empowered to change my world and feeling stifled by shame.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. My husband and I are both highly educated and experienced. My great-grandfather was James Rolph, Jr. How is it possible that he was Governor of California at the height of the Great Depression and I’m struggling now?
I refuse to feel victimized by our changing economy, but WOW, this is tough! Looking back, I see different choices I could have made, and I am clear that my heart was always in the right place.
These feelings trigger flashbacks to my time as a new mother going through postpartum depression. I felt so ashamed, asking myself how it was possible that, as a trained mental health counselor, I could be struggling that deeply? And that shame prevented me from reaching out for help when I needed it most.
I won’t make that mistake again.
Here’s what I DO know. Shame doesn’t serve us. We are each doing the best we can with the resources we have. Fortunately, there are always more resources to draw on to create something different. Love, friendship, inner wisdom and passion are all within our reach. Tama Kieves’ potent book, This Time I DANCE! Trusting the Journey of Creating the Work You Love has heartened me tremendously. She reminds us to “Have faith in the living wisdom of your talent, and it will light your way as surely as the moon.”
So I invite you to join me in releasing the bonds of shame. Those of us who no longer have a “label,” a steady job, do have, as Kieves writes, a ticket to anywhere we want to go with our lives.
Let us focus on the living wisdom of our talents that no economy can ever take away. Let us be compassionate with ourselves and each other, nurturing the sprouts of new life growing into something better.