What Would Be Possible if Your Shame Was Actually Your Genius?

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I was never understood. Right back down from childhood, where I had a speech impediment, I was never understood.

I’ve always felt a little bit like an outsider—unable to fully share myself with the world.

My humor would be misinterpreted as snobbery. And my big, exciting ideas would be misinterpreted as something pretty trivial.

And I’d just feel alone. And misunderstood.

I’ve always had to constantly explain myself. Constantly dilute my message. Constantly pretend that the super basic “insight” reflected back to me is what I was saying.

I’ve felt ashamed for pretty much my whole life for feeling different. For never having spaces where I could just show up and be. And not explain myself. And not be seen as high-maintenance or too particular when I have specific needs for diet and rest.

Spaces where I can totally be me.

I’ve been ashamed that, not only am I misunderstood, but I’m too emotional. And too sensitive. And too passionate. And too loud. And too thin. And too short. And too feminine. And too weird.

And it’s so interesting—because these are the exact traits that make me successful today. All of it. Every single part of myself that I’ve ever felt ashamed of. My too-muchness. My sensitivity and emotions. My struggles communicating and sharing myself. Even my discomfort with my body.

All of it is my own unique genius.

I help people build an intimate relationship with their shame and discover their unique genius through it. I help people language and share who they are with the world. I help people use transmute their vulnerabilities to be their superpowers. I help people come into deep relationship with their shame, their traumas, their bodies.

And it’s all based in my own shame. In feeling like I can’t communicate. And I have all these crippling vulnerabilities. And I don’t love my emotions, my body, myself.

In the Sacred Circle, just last week, we were talking about our greatest shame. And one particular healer was mentioning their shame about having imperfect skin but being a holistic healer. And that there’s this fear that no one will hire them if they have imperfect skin. It’s been a life-long shame.

I know a lot about life-long shame. But here’s the thing—if I were having skin problems, I wouldn’t want to go to the healer who was born with naturally flawless skin. I’d want to go to someone on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Someone who struggled their entire life. Someone who tried everything. Who knows the pain and heartache and shame. Someone who has such a deep relationship with their shame around their skin that they know everything about it.

That’s who I’d want to hire. Because they are truly the geniuses of skincare.

Because our greatest shames are the places we’ve spent countless time journeying with. We’ve developed intimate relationships with. We know everything about their shadows. Everything about their pain.

And they’re actually our unique genius. They’re actually our life purpose. They’re actually the thing that we can do better than anyone else in the world.

If I hadn’t struggled so much with being understood and seen, I wouldn’t be doing the work that I’m doing today.

If I hadn’t cried and screamed in frustration that no one will understand me. If I hadn’t been so tired of toning myself down that I started my own business. If I hadn’t felt that deep, deep shame and tried just about everything—well, then I probably wouldn’t be here doing this today.

Everything is possible. Fucking everything is possible. When we start realizing that our shame is our own unique genius. That everything we’ve ever felt shame for was actually our unique genius making itself known.

That we’ve been in boot camp—life boot camp—to hone mastery over the very genius we have. That all of our lives start to make sense when we see our shame as our genius.

What would be possible for you? What would be possible if your shame was actually your genius?

What could you do? What would you do? How would your life change?

I’d love to hear. This is a topic I’m particularly passionate about because I’ve seen this question alone change lives. Let me know in the comments or over in the Sacred Branding™ Facebook group, where we can support each other.

Sending you so much love.

-Mike

One Response to "What Would Be Possible if Your Shame Was Actually Your Genius?"
  1. Gosh after all these years, I still feel like each article that you write strikes a chord deep within me. Shame is such a big deal and I love your suggestion that it’s in these crevices that our gift lies. Responses from others that have left me wounded with shame are around the feminine aspects (especially my voice) and my lyrical, melodic way. For most I meet, they signal sexual preferences so strongly, in a way that bypasses or dismisses me as a person – we are not who we sleep with. Over the years, this has worn thin my self-confidence, finding ways to reach out through social media or hang tight with my closest friends rather than be at ease in new social situations. My closest friends love me, and that feels great…to be so accepted, but the shamed part is still wounded and crying somewhere, unwilling to budge at times. My yoga and exercise practice is still slowly changing that…but wow, how it takes such time and in the meantime, there’s more shame that life is passing by. I saw on a t-shirt, “Live or Die” yesterday and felt it so strongly – like, go, go GO! Don’t waste a moment. And yet the trauma, and echoes of it, traps. I keep trying, always trying…and so thankful for your heartfelt honesty.

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