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Updated: Jun 10

I've been working for a while to disconnect guilt and shame in myself. I'm defining guilt as feeling that I did something wrong, and shame as feeling that I AM something wrong. I recently had a big win after realizing I made a significant mistake and felt the weight of the guilt, but not any shame. Part of not feeling the shame involved taking the full weight of the responsibility. Kinda heavy, not pleasant, but so worth it. This also enabled me to not blame any of the other people involved and behave in a more adult manner when addressing the mistake.

This is part of being an adult: taking the full weight of responsibility. Further, taking on this adult maturity is key in dismantling white supremacy and other grave errors. Acknowledging privilege, and perhaps generational if not individual guilt, can be met with an adult responsibility. But shame, the feeling that one is wrong in one's very essence -- who's not gonna kick and scream against that?

I see some of that kicking and screaming in the concerted effort against Critical Race Theory being taught in schools. I know CRT is used as a red herring; that strategy packs an emotional punch because the propaganda says kids are being taught it's shameful to be "white." That's not what CRT is, and I'm not one to spend too much time arguing with folks that think it is, because it can be a logic-free rabbit-hole. But perhaps when we are fighting for some kind of truth and reconciliation, if we get clear in our own selves on the difference between guilt and shame, we'll shine a clearer light.

  • Admin

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Two of those killed in the synagogue were a couple in their 80s. Like my folks are. Like my mom who opened her upstairs window tonight and said "Call me when you get there." Every second of their lives is gold to me.

Our human family is so off track that there are more and more of us that can't find that heart treasure anywhere. We pick up a gun because it can be easier to be evil than powerless, easier to be evil than alone. There's more and more a family of the angry, a family that finds belonging by hurting.

One way to find a home, even for a moment, is by singing together. For that homecoming, you don't need to think of yourself as a singer. You are good enough, you are good enough, you are good enough. Every voice adds exponentially to their neighbor's. It's a strength-in-numbers situation if there ever was one.

We are leaving each other and ourselves out in the cold.

Come inside.

Find a place to sing.

  • Admin

I went to a "meditation flash mob" this evening in Union Square. After my 45 minute ride on the L train, I came up into a Friday night in Manhattan with Hare Krishnas playing their finger cymbals and a funky beat from some other street celebrants. The moment I sat down on the ground with two hundred or so other meditators in front of the statue of George Washington on his horse I felt....sublime. So so soft.

Then most of the crowd did a silent walking meditation up Broadway. I have never walked so slowly in NYC in my life--what would be considered a normal, if relaxed, pace for most of the country. It was that magic Maxfield Parrish time of day, the high west sides of buildings sunset orange. We walked into ABC Home, a huge fancy shmancy home decor + clothing store with a gallery type space upstairs where Thich Nhat Hanh's calligraphy was being displayed and sold. Somebody had a good time designing this exhibit. A Buddhist nun sat in the middle of the floor leading everyone in a beautiful Betsy Rose song. She taught it to us seamlessly, a section at a time in between anecdotes about people learning to breathe into their anger. If Martha Stewart and Mister Rogers got to design heaven, it might be like this. Breathing in, I smile. Breathing out, I admire $495 linen dresses without attachment. Happiness flowered in me from music, from human goodness, and from art.

Everyone on the L train looked so beautiful, all the way back to Canarsie.