I recently heard Glennon Melton Doyle say, “Addicts have to check their shame the way Diabetics check their sugar.”
I think we can also apply that to codependents, people pleasers, and pretty much any one who wants to live life fully.
“And speaking a shame out loud is an addict’s insulin.”
The moment Glennon spoke those words my heart sped up, and I felt my soul nudge me and wink.
I am the daughter of an addict. A recovering codependent, perfectionist, and people pleaser, myself. And this is what I’ve been practicing, with greater and greater deliberateness, for the last several years. I didn’t know why, I just kept following the bread crumbs.
Kind of like pregnant women who find themselves out in the garden eating soil, thinking “I don’t know why the hell I’m doing this, but it feels so right!” And then later they find out they’re iron deficient? Like that.
I’ve been progressively making a practice of sharing my shame and living out loud for years. And when Glennon spoke that day, I knew why.
But, as out loud as I try to live, I still find that I tuck away and unearth secret shames here and there. Which is great actually, because I welcome the opportunity to keep practicing.
And it gives me the opportunity to do this:
Every Friday here shall be, Free Your Soul Friday (#FYSF). And I will share some shame I found hiding, or a limiting belief I found creeping around in my heart. I will expose them with love. And watch them sparkle in the light of day.
We will share together. Then let it go. Enjoy our weekend. …And the rest of our lives.
I’ll go first….
When zip-lining in Costa Rica, bring a sweat towel.
A few years ago I went zip-lining in the canopy of a rain forest in Costa Rica with one of my oldest and dearest friends, and a group of people only she knew. I should note that this group was largely composed of bad ass undercover officers, because that adds to my shame.
When you zip-line, you wear a helmet, a harness that makes you feel like one enormous loaded diaper, and gloves.
My harness was on in such a way that I could not free a piece of my sleeveless t-shirt to wipe away sweat. I’m sweating buckets. I have no towel.
I wipe the sweat with my rented gloves, ONCE. And only once, because these gloves smell of either the 300 people that sweatily zip-lined in them before me, or the animal carcass they were cut from. Regardless, they are “eau de body farm” and after I wipe my face with them I smell them on my face. The odor has transferred ONTO MY FACE. I can’t take them off because I don’t want my fingers ripped off in the zip-line, and my hands smell as bad as the gloves now anyway.
I want you to understand, these gloves don’t normal stink. They gag-stink.
I zip. I reach the third platform. Sweat is dripping in my eyes. I look for a square of my t-shirt I can pull up. There is none. My gloved hand starts to reach up to wipe the sweat off my brow, but my nose catches its scent, and I’m so repulsed, I can’t.
Which is why I impulsively, in desperation, lean forward and wipe my forehead o’ sweat on the t-shirted chest of the guy in front of me.
To which he justifiably responds, “DID YOU JUST WIPE YOUR SWEAT ON ME?!”
What’s your comeback for that I ask you?!
Because I couldn’t even believe I’d done it!
And we’re stuck in the trees together on platform after platform.
To his credit, he doesn’t shove me off. But he did stay away from me like the plague (as far as you can when you’re sharing a tiny platform in the trees with eight people) and told everyone in our group what I did.
I just kept shaking my head in disbelief and saying “I’m sorry, but, THE GLOVES, I panicked!”
I literally came out of the canopy on a zip line to hear him saying (louder and louder as I zip closer) “this chic just wiped her fucking sweat on me!”
To which I finally screamed “I panicked!!!!!!” G-D it!
What was I gonna’ do? Walk around telling people to smell my gloves?
No. I was essentially the shit pants girl.
I still think of this randomly sometimes…in grocery stores…in the car…. and scream out “OH MY GOD!!!!” Because I’m so mortified by myself.
Dude on the platform, I swear, I don’t know what happened there. My apologies.
But I let this shit go!
The “sweaty gloves incident among the trees” is hereby stripped of secret shame status!
Deep breath…sniiiiifffff…ahhhhh. Bring on the weekend.
Alright, whatcha’ got? Feel free to share it below!