Shame

“You did this wrong.”

“This is wrong.”

There is such a huge difference in tone here for me. One makes me feel shame, the other opens up the possibility for gratitude to know where I may have gone wrong and open to fixing it because I don’t like to put out poor work.

I am careful to use the latter with my children, also going with, “I like to do this task another way because…” so it’s clear that I am not shaming them for not doing it my way. I realize my way is not the only way.

I feel shamed when I am told, “You are wrong.”

I have an opportunity to learn when I am told, “This should be done another way,“ or, “It should be done this way.“

I can’t believe I’m letting this eat me up so much right now.

I realized a moment ago that this would be a good chance to think about why I’m getting so upset over this. Was it really a personal attack? No. It was probably a word choice. I probably never entered their mind except as the person on the Reply end of that email. I am upset because I don’t like to be thought of as a person that makes mistakes.

But everyone makes mistakes. It’s just a thing that happens and we all do it and nobody is perfect.

It’s something for me to reflect on.

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Hello, veg* my old friend*

Technically veg*ism (vegetarian/vegan diets) are not “old friends”. There were a couple weeks last year where I ate a mostly plant-based diet. I took a break from it to accommodate a major work event and never got back on the wagon.

But I did really enjoy it. And then this weekend I watched both The True Cost and Food, Inc. (Okay, I fell asleep during the last 1/3 of The True Cost – I was really tired. I’ll rewatch it.)

I am upset at the cruel and “disposable” treatment of the animals in the films. I am upset at the corporations that seem to only be interested in more money. I am disgusted by the lack of control we have to ensure the food we receive is safe. Not just healthy – safe. Safe to eat, safe for the environment – is it too much to ask to have food that we can be sure won’t kill us (allergies aside)? And I’m upset that so much clothing is being produced and then thrown away – especially items that have been donated.

What? I’ve been contributing to that!

So right now, I’m on a mission to be more mindful of what my family acquires in terms of food, clothing, and “stuff”. I will gradually be eating a more plant-based diet (but the odds of my family willingly coming along on that journey is very small). I can be mindful of how I wear my clothing, when and where I discard it, and how I keep it in good repair – the same for my kid’s stuff.

Both documentaries just fell in line with where my head is right now: I need less. I need less stuff so keeping my home clean is easier and so there’s not chaos everywhere I look. I need less negativity, whether it’s in the form of animal cruelty when my food was made or the negativity I feel when I look around my living room and see an inch of dust on the high shelves. I need less people trying to sell me on their newest “can’t live without it” ebook or program or Kickstarter.

And I need more love, more peace, more gratitude.

Veg*ism, I’m ready for you. I’ll even dust off the blender.