Tag Archives: be vulnerable

My friend Ray and the lesson of black tape…..

Recently, I had the great fortune to be in Trinidad with my only brother, his lovely wife and our childhood friend, Ray.

We were all headed to the store to purchase a 60th birthday gift for another friend.

My brother was riding in the passenger seat up front while Ray drove and in the midst of recanting an old and funny story, he said very casually,
“Hey brother, what’s that red light on your dash?”

Ray, quite nonchalantly said, “Doh worry ’bout dat man, I put a piece of black tape over it, I don’t want to know what it is.”

And in typical Ray style, he started to laugh.

My sister in law, sitting next to me in the back then says, “So why is there tape over the locks in the back?”

Ray says, “Oh the locks are broken and I just don’t want people messing with them.”

We all start howling with laughter and start teasing Ray about his ability to block out the everyday annoyances of life.

I immediately say, “You know that I am going to have to write a blog about this, right?”

The thing about using black tape to cover up warning lights and broken bits of a machine made me think of the hoops we jump through to hide our shameful abuse from others.

Women will use any amount of makeup to try to hide the black eye.

Teenagers will lie to their friends and wear long sleeves to try and hide the cutting they started as a result of the incest they are suffering in their homes.

Young children know that they dare not tell about the knock down drag outs that their parents engage in and they instead begin to create a fairy tale family that they trot out to mask their pain.

Recently, during a Train the Trainer, one of the participants told the group that he never knew his parents because the state had taken him away due to abuse. He then explained that he made up  a fairy tale of benevolent parents and used to tell fairy tale stories about the imagined family.

We use black tape in our everyday lives so effectively that we often forget the tape is there.

We begin to see the tape as the reality and we fight for the right to deny the reality of our pain.

What parts of your life have you taped over?

What is the tape hiding?

What would happen if you pulled the tape off and allowed yourself to face the truth?

I pull the tape off my own bruises every time I tell an audience that my abuse began in my childhood. When I am honest with my listeners and when they are able to receive the truth of what I am saying, they witness the absence of black tape.

I let them see my scars.

I let them in on my pain.

As a result of my being vulnerable, they give themselves permission to do the same.

Will you remove some black tape from your life today?

I give you permission to look at your truth.


Love and light,

A thunderstorm of shame….

images via ebonyYou’re not really my friend … so you can’t share our hotel room!

These words were said to me about 24 years ago by two women who I thought were my friends.
Let me set up the scenario.
I was pregnant with my second child and really quite pregnant….about 7 months.
I was a member of a women’s club that was hosting a girl’s weekend and I was attending. One last hurrah before the baby came.
I had brought two women into the club and so I approached them and said, “Let’s share a room!” They said sure!
A few days later, one of them came to me and said, “Katherine and I spoke and we realized that we are not that good of
friends with you….so we don’t want to share a room with you.”

Holy Crap….did she really just say that?
Yep, she did!
I went home and wept!
I wept like a baby.
Listening to Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability has allowed me to rewrite the script of that painful incident and to keep it now in my arsenal for great examples of when self-love could have helped me.

Listening to these CDs is like eating 12 scoops of ice cream too fast and getting brain freeze but you would never think of throwing the ice cream away.

If we can remember the hurtful moments in our lives, we can give ourselves the empathy that others could not show and we can use those hurtful memories to help others in pain.

We can call upon our hurtful past to become an empathetic listener to someone else.

Let us remember without falling prey to the pain.

Let us live BIG and BE vulnerable. It is the only way to whole-hearted living. Thanks Brene.

Love and light,