|Hollye and Amy in tiaras.
(from Amy Ferris)
Okay, so Hollye and I had our Monday morning with Hollye & Amy talk. Sort of like Tuesdays with Morrie, but … not. And, as usual, we caught up with life and each other and … talked about shame. Our shame, our Shame Prom facebook page, and our hot off the presses spanking new gorgeous website, and our anthology – THE SHAME PROM. Holy Batwoman! And we realized, found that we – Hollye and I – are somewhat ashamed that we’re not getting enough traction and “likes” on our Shame Prom Facebook page. People are not lining up to watch our fabulously funny shame out-takes and videos on YouTube, folks are not lining up to like us.
Luckily, I was still in bed, and could creep and crawl under the covers. I mean, here we are, two amazing women with unbelievable accomplishments not to mention husbands and friends, and we’re trying to understand why folks are having an allergic reaction to our brilliant and LIFE CHANGING movement – the SHAME PROM movement. And then it happened, Hollye said five magical words: DANCING AT THE SHAME PROM… and in that moment, I pushed the covers off of me (okay, more figuratively than literally) and I smiled and I said to Hollye, God, that’s brilliant. It feels so happy, celebratory. It feels less sad. Less tragic. And of course Hollye made it even sound sexy, and no longer scary.
The thing is (and I will let Hollye continue this thought, idea, realization… epiphany) we want everyone to celebrate their shameful experiences. The one’s that make us cringe. Crawl into a ball. Hide under the covers. Change our phone numbers. We want to share our stories, release the gunk, prove we’re not alone in doing silly, stupid, hurtful, painful, and unbearable things. We want to open the doors – literally – and dance to the beat of our own – and others – bravery and courage.
We’re finding SHAME has a very bad reputation, not to mention a really bad rap.
We want to change that.
Okay, here’s Hollye …
Yep. We discovered that although we rejoice in the releasing of it, most people are repelled by the word “Shame”. They don’t want to “Like” it, or watch You Tube videos about it, and GOOD GOD NO they don’t want to talk about it. The word alone carries a negative connotation. When someone said “Shame on you” it meant you were a BAD person who had done a BAD thing. Most of us have come to a point in our lives where we feel we are done with that bullshit. I know I am.
But shame is sneaky.
It hid itself in the corners of my psyche, in the stories I didn’t tell. It lodged itself in my heart in the moment that I let someone else define me, or control me, or belittle me. It hung over me like a sad umbrella, keeping the sun away. And until I learned how to find it, it was keeping me small. Very small.
Our objective with this anthology is to RELEASE it, to sweep it out of the corners and shoo it away, and we want you to join us! We want to connect with you and share this glorious feeling. But there’s that problem…that icky word.
Okay so how about we don’t call it shame. Let’s call it “blurg”.
I felt blurg in my childhood because my father was in prison, and because of things people did to me, and because I thought I was a mistake and didn’t belong anywhere.
I felt it as a young woman when I betrayed myself trying to gain someone else’s love, or when I shared my body with someone who did not value me.
So I wrote a book and got it all out and it changed me. And although I’ve more or less healed myself of the past shame, er, I mean, BLURG, it still creeps up on me. I start to feel it when I chide myself for gaining five pounds, when I see the age in my face that society tells me is not acceptable, when I’m the only one at the dinner party who doesn’t get the intellectual reference because I’m a college dropout.
Yes, I feel BLURG.
Oh, that’s ridiculous. Let’s call it what it is – it’s SHAME. A universal emotion, just like fear, love, jealousy, desire. It’s what makes us human. It’s what binds us. Connects us. Lifts us. Spurs us into action.
(From Amy and Hollye)
Dancing at the Shame Prom was conceived and born out of courage, passion, compassion, joy, and self-awareness. It’s not a place for wallowing in self-pity, or sorrow. Well, you can wallow for just a little bit, but we’re grabbing your hand, and we’re taking you out onto the dance floor, and we’re not letting BLURG hold any of us back any more.
Care to dance with us?
*start small…tell us a tiny little story that you never tell. post it anonymously if you like. Go on…get it out. you’ll feel better. Here’s my story…