You know, I love it when people are willing to talk and share about things you are not ‘supposed’ to talk about; I love it when others are willing to be honest and vulnerable. It helps us all then to take down the masks, and stop being ashamed of who we are. And if there’s one thing that Wild Wisdom is about, it’s about allowing your own wild wisdom to shine out, and be more of who you are, not less!
Down at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this last weekend, there was a theme in two of the shows I attended . The first was ‘Over It: Death, Anorexia and Other Funny Things’. Given my interest in death lately, and my own experience of the kind of very black humour that can be so hilarious, you might have expected me to see that show. But you might not have known that I’d be interested in anorexia – not because I am or was anorexic, but because I was bulimic in my twenties.
So I know how very courageous it was to be doing a show about this subject, because one of the features of these kinds of illnesses is the shame, and the desire to keep it all hidden and secret.
And sadly, despite the fact that death happens to all of us, and to all our friends and family members, there appears to be a kind of shame attached to it too. As if the longer you live the more successful you have been! Weird. But for whatever reason, it’s not talked about enough, not free of embarrassment, not a normal dinner party conversation topic.
So when a young man was doing a stand-up comedy routine about when he was anorexic, closely followed by a slightly older woman doing the same about how death had touched her life, I really wanted to know how it would be.
It was wonderful. Very, very funny. Touching, poignant, and educational to boot. All hail to these guys, they are doing a wonderful job. I don’t want to say more about them because it will take away the surprise, but you can read more about them here.
The other show was more famous (had to pay to see that one!) Fascinating Aida are known mostly for their hilarious ‘Cheap Flights’ song. A 3-woman harmony group of Dillie, Adele and Liza, who write their own very amusing lyrics, they’ve been going quite a long time. They’re usually singing about the sorts of things we all recognize but people don’t often mention, and their songs on this set covered ageing, sex, the politicizing of the Brownies (what? yes, really!) and the reason I’m mentioning them here – gender change.
Together, two of them had been writing a song for over ten years, and now the timing was right to introduce us to it. Extremely funny as it was, it brought tears to my eyes too, it being the tale of how Adele had been a girl born into a boy’s body, the agony of that and the eventual relief when she was able to live properly as a woman.
Such courage! Such guts, gumption and gracefulness from her and her two fellow singers, and from the Over It duo.
So here’s my question to you. Have you a secret that you want to share? Something you’re maybe a tad embarrassed about, or wish wasn’t part of your life?
Because it’s these kinds of things that hold you back. Not just in your work or business, but in life itself. It’s time to stop pretending, because if you want to move forward you have got to put down that piece of luggage that is proving a dead weight.
OK, I’ll share first. Even though I’m not bulimic now, I still sometimes binge eat. I realized this was a problem when a few months after my husband died, I found myself having 4 (largish) chocolate bars, one after another. It was dinner time, I could justify it to myself as a ‘meal’, albeit an unusual one, but really I was just kidding myself. And before you think, ah well, she had a good reason there, I’ve done this on and off without good reasons too!
Not great. But there you go, that’s what’s now out in the open. Not proud of it, but in sharing it takes away any shame, guilt, the thought of ‘doing something wrong’. It’s not a very loving act, but feeling bad about that on top is an extra layer definitely not needed.
So come join me – is there anything you’d like to share that could be holding you back? Any piece of luggage you would like to put down by bringing it out into the open? Please join me and others in the comments box below and let’s begin to raise the lid on keeping secrets that keep us stuck!