The teacher scowled down her nose at two seven year old boys. “You should be ashamed. Why don’t you look ashamed?”
The smaller boy, who’d grow up and become my husband, tugged his ear, “I don’t know how to look ashamed.”
Whether we know the look of shame or not, most of us know its searing pain.
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown tells the story of a conversation a woman had with her neighbor that encapsulates the risk of exposing our flaws. When the woman revealed that she was a recovering alcoholic, her neighbor said, “Well, I’m not sure I feel comfortable with my kids playing at your house any more.”
The first woman swallowed hard, took a deep breath, and said, “Your children have been playing at my house for two years. I’ve been sober for over twenty years. I haven’t changed in the last ten minutes. Why have you?”
This story shows why we carefully hide our shortcomings under cloaks of knowledge, professionalism, humor, kindness, perfectionism, and accomplishments. Continue Reading