Shame on You

Worry, shame, suffering, depression, regret…sucky emotions that I try to avoid in my life at all costs. 

A Wise old woman was talking to a girl and said,

“There are two wolves always fighting inside me.

One is filled with anger, hate, jealousy, shame, and lies.

The other wolf is filled with love, joy, truth, and peace.

This battle rages inside of you and all people.”


The girl thought for a moment and asked,

“Which wolf will win?”


The Wise old woman answered,

“The one you feed.” 

I had announced to my co-workers that I was leaving mid-year. My last day of teaching was set right before Winter Break began. That meant that it was right before Christmas. In addition, I was moving out of my apartment and moving to another state. My co-workers planned a little “Bon voyage” party. I think the time was 5-9 on a Thursday. 

Between cleaning up my classroom, packing my apartment, and preparing all the details for the move, I was excited about the party.

On the way there. I felt I needed to contribute to the food. I stopped at a local grocery store and purchased a noodly salad which I transferred into a pretty crystal bowl in my car and covered with clear wrap.

When I got to my co-worker’s house, I walked through the kitchen and saw that everyone had only brought desserts. This wasn’t a meal…it was a shindig with sweets. 

I put my noodle salad far back on the counter and planned to just take it back home with me when I left. 

We sat in her basement. The festivities consisted of us teachers just talking and laughing and spending time talking about kids and other teacher stuff. About two hours after I arrived, Julie walked down the stairs carrying my noodle salad and announced, “I found this on the counter upstairs. Who brought the salad?”

The quiet was deafening. I reluctantly raised my hand.

“Lisa, I’m so sorry… I’ll put it with the rest…”

What choice did I have but to acknowledge that it was my salad? I wanted my bowl and she would have probably seen me carry it away.

I felt humiliated. Shame. My greatest fear.

Out of touch, not aware, without a clue. 

Since then a few similar things have occurred and I lightly laugh them off. I put on airs that are self-deprecating. I accept advice and suggestions. But inside I feel embarrassed. It’s an emotion that I hate!

So what is shame…really? Well, it’s a vibration in your body. Not all that scary when you think about it really. Unpleasant, yes. Dangerous and deadly, no. I don’t know that I have any answers to how to avoid the feeling except to turn off the lights and crawl under a rock. Ultimately, that’s not the path I’m on. Instead, I’ll keep taking deep breaths and laughing at myself. I’ll move on toward love, joy, truth, and peace.

The girl thought for a moment and asked,

“Which wolf will win?”

The Wise old woman answered,

“The one you feed.”

Who is Lisa


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