Home, And Insights Into Shame
Thursday last week I arrived home. It had been a long journey. Longer than I anticipated.
I found I was exhausted in many ways after the trip and needed some rest. ‘Rest binge’ apparently is an expression the speaker Brene Brown has used to described this sort of self-care. I didn’t send any emails. There was no writing on this site. I rested.
Ultimately, I had been successful on the journey. I achieved more than I bargained for. But things didn’t go to plan. It was messy. It was tough. It was very difficult on a personal level.
My brother’s death during the journey came at a point where I was stuck. His final words to me urged me to continue and so I did. But the difficulties on a personal level I mentioned above don’t specifically relate to the circumstances of his death.
So why was it difficult on a personal level? The answer to that question underpins my reticence to engage the media during the journey. The vulnerability I exposed myself to by undertaking this journey was intense. Mostly, I have been able to keep most of that vulnerability private. But was that the right thing to do? I think it is a Catch-22 scenario. After the event, people will applaud the courage to have been vulnerable. At the time, I feared that if I had expressed it too clearly, it would have scared too many people. Come back from the edge. Be safe. Please be normal.
In some ways, it is as though I have returned from The Hero’s Journey. You know the one, the monomyth which Joseph Campbell wrote so much about. It was heroic, but in a classic sense. There was transformation and a prize, but the rewards weren’t material. And if I am now home, then perhaps that is only to make an unmistakable Call To Adventure to you among others who might take the risk to come with us as we embark on this next journey into the unknown. It is a journey called ‘Design Forum’. And there will be challenges. Stick to your knitting, or come with us at change the world by seeing to improve child survival? Your turn to chose.
And so I am home. But first I had to complete this journey. And now I think I owe it to myself and to you to speak a little about this vulnerability. Not now. Not here in this post. Maybe a little later when I understand it better myself. Brene Brown has spoken about ‘shame’ which is perhaps the closest thing I can find to explain the flavour of this vulnerability. The video at the bottom of this post gives some insights. Listen particularly from 16:30.