I just finished Dancing at the Shame Prom and I am feeling such a deep sense of gratitude for the women who brought this book to life and for those who contributed to it. I feel like the book is going to be the impetus for the healing of many. It’s as if there’s this outside persona we are all strutting around with, and then peel back a layer, not even a very deep layer, and there it is. Everyone is blanketed in shame.
This book shines a light on it, making the monster that lurks in each of us less scary.
Dancing at the Shame Prom covers eating disorders, childhood neglect, regret, hoarding, abuse, addiction, infertility, infidelity, family secrets, fear of not being a good enough parent, racial issues and more. But this book is in no way a downer. In the telling of the stories, there is a release that happens for the reader. A realization that we are all carrying so much, and an invitation to lay our own burden of shame down. Reading Dancing at the Shame Prom gives us an opportunity to look at each of our fellow humans with more gentle eyes.
Shame. Think about how it feels in the body. For me, it is hot. Contracted. It shuts me down. When I feel shame, I feel unworthy of love. Less than. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I want to hide.
What if instead of hiding our shame, we fessed up to it like the brave writers in this book? What if we set it free? Much of the shame we carry isn’t even our own. It’s been passed down for generations. What if we consciously made a decision to end the cycle and stop allowing shame to rule us. And then, what if we stop blaming and shaming the people in our own lives?
Dancing at the Shame Prom is released today. I am going to write a couple more posts about this book in the near future. The topic of releasing shame is so important! It’s the reason I wrote Daughter of the Drunk at the Bar. To release my own shame and in doing so, I hoped to help others release some of their own.
I hope you read Dancing at the Shame Prom. I hope you look at whatever shame you are carrying, take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to let it go. ‘Cause perfect child of God? You really ain’t so bad.
Two thumbs up! I’m reading “Dancing” in small sips right now, no more than two essays per day, in order to let them really sink in and make the book last. I am loving it and you are absolutely right – shame is one of those things that we do so much better without. Dropping it like a hot rock is the only way to go.
Dear Michelle, I will read this book because as you’ve said, we all carry shame around with us and throwing it off is so healthy, life-giving, and life-enhancing. Peace.
I thank you so much for this beautiful and thoughtful post Michelle. You have been so lovely and supportive. I hope to meet you one day!
And thank you to all you lovely ladies for being willing to join us at the dance. Feel free to share your own stories with us at http://www.theshameprom.com (you can do it anonymously)
I just ordered this book, Michelle, because of your recommendation and because – weirdly – you always seem to offer to the world *precisely* what I need, even before I know that I need it. xo
Gretchen, you just made my day with your comment. Thank you!
Michelle I love your blog. I would not be the parent or person or writer or reader that I am without your posts. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I’ll be ordering this one. Thank you for expanding my horizons, nearly every day.
Wow, Michelle, also just reading the book now — and loving it. Like kario says above, reading it in “small sips” to really drink it in. It is so empowering and fierce. Love your blog!