As I continue to talk about family secrets and share experiences of facing my deepest fears and learning to love myself, I want to take a moment and say how much I love my folks and my brothers. My dad was and remains one of my lifelong heroes. After some not so easy times growing up my mom and I have been good friends for more than forty years. I have a lot of empathy for each of them. My parents grew up and came of age at a time when the stigma and shame of mental illness was immense. Diseases of the mind were difficult to treat or talk about. While we talk more openly these days about mental illness and secrets we still have a long way to go. That is one of the reasons why I feel it has been so important for me to learn to share my experiences with anxiety and secrets without shame.
Saying that I would add there are things we as individuals or as a country should be ashamed of. I believe that honestly acknowledging that shame can lead to grace. I believe that is an important distinction to make in a society that appears more and more to relish its shamelessness.
The two songs on this Podcast are “How Can Someone Love Me If They Don’t Know Me Well” and “Stories and Songs of Our Lives.” You can read more about them in the next couple of Blogposts.