Share, the antidote to Shame

Share, the antidote to Shame

What I love about my job is the amount of training I can go on. Training lets me learn new things, develop new tools, listen to experiences, and of course, network with other professionals.

Since I have the attention span of a carrot, it’s rare to find a speaker who can grasp my attention for a full ten minutes – and I’m so glad this guy did.

“What letter do I need to change in the word ‘Shame’, which would make shame go away?”

Our speaker asked…

People started scratching their heads, throwing out answers (which did not involve actually changing a letter, but I guess it was quite late on a Tuesday afternoon … and after so many workshops, we were all too tired).

“Change the ‘m'”, I mumbled to myself, “change ‘m’ to ‘r’ and you get ‘share'”. Again, it was too late on a Tuesday afternoon for me to feel like engaging.

Finally, ,someone said it, they replied that the way to deal with shame is to speak about it. Our speaker was elated, replying that yes, sharing is how we can help clients deal with their issues of shame.

But isnt’t that counterproductive? If I have shame to speak about something, how can I possibly share it?

 

Well, that’s the trick in reality. We give power to certain things… and they really don’t deserve to have this power. Let me explain.

If I shame regarding an aspect of myself – such as my gender or sexual orientation (ie. something I have no control over, and cannot change). If I don’t talk about it, my shame gets worse. I will feel that if people knew, they would judge me (after all, isn’t this the reason for shame? feeling judged and unwanted for something?).

And what happens when we hide such fundamental parts of our personality, for fear of judgement? We end up hiding other things – things we like or enjoy, because we feel that our loved ones will ‘figure it out’.

But what happens when I do talk about it? When I feel so safe with someone, so close and intimate with them, that I can tell them about my genuine self?

Well, when the person acts so loving about what I have shared, so non-judgementally, then that is when my shame will go away. I will realise that I was being ignorant for assuming that my loved ones would hate me, and that it was something to be ashamed about.

 

So what is the antidote to shame? SHARE!

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Meeting Our President

Meeting Our President

A few months ago, I had the great honour of meeting Her Excellency, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca for a chat about Insite Malta’s work. I have been part of Insite for over three years – as CEO, Social Policy Associate, Writer, Editor, you name it. I guess I could never say goodbye to the first organisation I ever joined, which taught me so much and gave me so many skills to succeed both at University and in my career.

 

The visit was a courtesy one, to thank us for the work done covering a conference on Children’s Wellbeing last month. Naturally, I felt appreciated by the Executive Editor who invited me to join for this courtesy visit.

 

The visit was very successful, and I am pleased that she took such a genuine interest in the organisation, instantly offering us opportunities to collaborate, while also noting that one of us present was still a student, and so she should be careful not to neglect her studies.

 

I am pleased that we have a President who is so genuine, and caring, for the people around her. Her working hours are incredible (read: insane), and I can imagine her schedule is choc-a-block, but it’s amazing how courteous and patient she can be. She didn’t rush the visit, rather, it seemed she never wanted it to end. So kudos that there’s someone who views the youth as capable, hard working people!

Women in History #2 – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Women in History #2 – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

And we return with another Women in History section, where the focus is on the achievements of some of the great women who graced our planet. Today we’ll be speakingelisabeth_kc3bcbler-ross_1926_-_2004 about Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

 

Elizabeth was born in Switzerland on July 8th 1926, interestingly she is one baby out of set of triplets. After the Second World War, Elizabeth started volunteering with the International Voluntary Service for Peace, and through this voluntary service started helping victims who had been in the concentration camps in Germany and Poland.

 

Upon her return to Switzerland, she started studying medicine, getting her degree in 1957. She had always had an interest in medicine, however, her father did his utmost to dissuade her from achieving this dream – instead he told her that she could become a secretary or a maid instead. Thankfully, Elizabeth did not listen to her father, however, she did have to leave home at the age of 16 and work a series of jobs. Nevertheless, she achieved her dream of studying medicine.

 

A few years later, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross at Arizona House, 2001, Editorial use only, No Tabsshe travelled to the US to practice medicine and continue specialising. She wanted to study paediatrics, however, she went into psychiatry instead. She graduated as a psychiatrist in 1963 from the University of Colorado. She had a particular interest in death and dying, and she continued to study this topic, even doing weekly seminars on death for terminally ill patients.

 

In 1967, she published her book On Death and Dying, where she outlined the 5 stages people who are dying go through. She always had an interest in the subject, and was shocked by the treatment of terminally ill patients by medical practitioners. It is reported that while she was teaching at the University of Colorado, she replaced one of her colleagues and instead of doing the curriculum, she brought in a 16 year old girl who was suffering from Leukemia. She asked the students present to ask this girl any question they want. After a few questions revolving purely around her condition, the girl erupted in anger and pointed out that she was a person as well – a person who could not have dreams or aspirations, who may not get to go to Prom. This shows clearly that Elizabeth has a deep respect for those suffering from terminally ill conditions, and did her utmost for these “patients” to be seen as “people” instead.

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Unfortunately, in 1995, after a series of strokes which left her partially paralysed, Elizabeth retired to Arizona. She died on August 24th, 2004.

Women in History #1 – Susan B. Anthony

Women in History #1  – Susan B. Anthony

So it’s only fair that we start to celebrate the achievements of various women throughout history (and modern times). Unfortunately these women tend to be forgotten, or ignored, in history books. So let’s change that…

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SUSAN B. ANTHONY

Born in 1820, as a young child Anthony and her family moved to New York. She was known already be a strong girl with acute leadership skills.

 

Between the ages of 15 and 30, Anthony attended boarding school and was teaching the other students. 

In 1849, she became the president of the Rochester Branch of the Daughters of Temperance, a group dedicated to the prohibition of alcohol. This was the first of many societies and associations that she was part of in her lifetime, including:

  1. Women’s State Temperance Society (formed herself)
  2. American Anti-Slavery Society from 1856 until 1861,
  3. Women’s Loyal League in 1863 for slave emancipation (which she formed herself)
  4. National Woman’s Suffrage Association with her colleage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in 1869 (which she founded herself).
  5. Anthony and Stanton then published a newspaper called “The Revolution,” sending out the word for women’s rights.
  6. In 1870, she founded and became president of the Workingwomen’s Central Association.
  7. She also founded the International Council of Women, made up of 48 countries, in 1888,
  8. the National Woman’s Suffrage Association in 1890 (of which she was president until 1900),
  9. International Woman Suffrage Council in 1904.

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In 1878, she wrote the Susan B. Anthony amendment, which declared that women should have the right to vote. After her death, specifically, on August 18th 1920, this amendment became the 19th Amendment in the Constitution.

 

Also notably, Susan B. Anthony made the Rochester University begin to accept female students.

She died on March 13th 1906, and it is said that her final words were “failure is impossible” – which was adopted as a feminist chant.

She is remembered as leading the only non-violent protest in the USA.

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Goodbye (Very) Old Friend

Goodbye (Very) Old Friend

Today is both a sad day and one of celebration and empowerment – for two different reasons.

A sad day because one of our historic gems has fallen, and while it could not be prevented due to natural detioration, I’m sure it wasn’t helped when people kept on climbing on top of it…or detonating bombs beneath.

 

For those who are not based on the Maltese Islands, the Azure Window is one of the best things on the Island of Gozo. It was used as a backdrop of various movies, including Clash of Titans:

 

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And Game of Thrones:

 

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But last night, due to the high winds and force of the sea, the Azure Window fell…

 

But on a brighter note – today is also Women’s Day and thus also a day of celebration.

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Women of all shapes and forms, from all backgrounds, should be celebrated for their achievements – which unfortunately are commonly disregarded.

So happy women’s day, and not just for our cis-ters!

And here is a photo of the azure window, which I had the pleasure to visit with one of the best women I know

 

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Thursday Wisdom #2

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You can travel the world a thousand times over, and eventually you will be seeing the same things… but if you change the WAY in which you look at the world, you will learn more about your self, and the world around you.

Today I urge you to change your perspective about what is going on around you. Are you annoyed by something someone does? Think about their intention, is it there to hurt you? No – then it shouldn’t annoy you, because they’re not out to annoy or hurt you.