I Am Breaking Up With Shame

Dear shame,

Thank you.
Thank you for being there when I needed you.
Thank you for making me cover up my messy parts.
For helping me hide the 'bad' bits that other people didn't want.
The fears. The doubts. The sorrows. The pains.
Those strange, disturbing, "uncivilised, abnormal" thoughts.
You got me to suppress them. Distract from them.
Create a persona, a mask.
Be "someone else".

Thank you. You saved me, I think.
You saved me from punishment. From ridicule.
From neglect. From intrusion.
From being bullied, hurt, abandoned.

You saved me from judgement.
From the horror of rejection.
From the terror of losing love.
I needed you back then, yes.
In my innocence. In my inexperience.
Yes, I think you might have saved my life.
You were a great and loyal companion.
Thank you. I bow to your power.

But now, shame, I need you no more.
I am ready to expose my true self to the world.
I cannot live a lie anymore.
I want others to know the real me. To see the 'mess' within.
These inconvenient thoughts. These 'dark' feelings.
These 'shameful' parts...
which might not be 'shameful' after all.

I want to drop the persona now.
Be seen in daylight.
So I can be loved for who I really am.
Undefended. Unprotected. Real.

True, I am terrified!
You have provided wonderful protection, shame!
Without you, I feel so shaky, raw, uncertain.
So vulnerable. But so damn alive, too!

I am moving into the Unknown.

Thank you, shame.
You have done your job well.
You were only ever trying to help, I know.
I just don't need you anymore.

You are welcome to visit whenever you want.
You are welcome to keep advising me.
("Turn back! Hide! Withdraw! Shut up! Fit in! Stay small!")
But I won't be obeying you any longer.
I won't be your slave.
I am taking back my life.

I have found a new lover.
A new guide.
A new best friend:

~ Jeff Foster

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