Why do we feel shame (or not)?
Friday Flow—Issue #39
It’s day 12 today of #Ship30for30 and it’s such a wild ride. I’ll share today’s essay in a minute, but first off, I need to tell you, the experience itself is something. I didn’t think it would be too much trouble to write every day given I’ve gone nearly a year of writing every week. Turns out it’s not.
What’s stressful is everything else: creating the graphics, composing the tweets to share them, cross-posting to LinkedIn, Medium, and my website—and doing that every single day. (Although I’m not always able to make time for the cross-posting part.)
But it’s a fun ride, and I’m learning a lot. I really believe there’s nothing as important to your work as shipping regularly, and it remains my number one piece of advice to anyone who asks me about any kind of creative work.
Whatever field you choose to create in, commit to putting out good enough work—regularly. Then repeat. Something has to give—and it doesn’t have to be you.
Essay: shame and vulnerability
Today’s essay was about shame and vulnerability, and I thought I’d share the graphic here.
You can get the rest of the atomic essay graphics at the thread below, starting with the one from 7 days ago and on to whichever is most recent whenever you open this: just click on the tweet! (Or this link!)
Dọ́kítà Ayọ̀mídé 🚢 @DocAyomideWe tend to explain people doing TERRIBLE things in 1 of 3 ways—that the people… • didn't know better • are "animals" • have mental illness (I hate this one) Why do we avoid the obvious option—deliberate choice? Let's talk about why we need to face our dark side👇🏾 https://t.co/5315W7TPIX
If you would like to read more stuff from some of my friends doing #Ship30for30, click this link.
DMX died today, aged 50. So did Prince Philip, aged 99—twice that. I can only imagine what it must be like for the Queen, to lose someone you’ve been with for so long, but DMX’s death especially hurt because he was such a meaningful part of my growing up. (You might recall my mention of him in my essay on taking kids seriously.)
If you don’t know DMX, he was a rapper who cursed like a sailor and prayed like an evangelist. He embodied the conflict at the heart of many of us in ways that remind me of the Biblical psalmists, who often prayed passionately while also cursing their enemies with little reservation.
As I wrote in my atomic essay on owning (not embracing!) our dark sides:
But to turn from our dark side is to turn from all of our self. To shut off our capacity for pain is to also shut off our capacity for joy. And so long as we downplay our potential for evil, we will struggle to unlock our full capacity for good.
DMX lived what sounded like a tortured life, from childhood abuse from his mother and her boyfriends and finding comfort in befriending stray dogs while wandering the streets to escape the abuse, to being kicked out of school despite being a smart kid and later being introduced to crack by someone he looked up to. His name literally came to mean Dark Man X.
And yet somehow this man broke into the mainstream in 1998, releasing two chart-topping albums in one year, ruling the rap game for 5 years straight number one and being the only artist in history to have 5 consecutive albums debut at number one, with his distinctive voice, his trademark growl and banging beats from—well, Swizz Beatz.
In honour of him, here’s one of his songs that’s a prayer.
If you liked that, check out Slippin’, which captures more of the rawness of his tragic life story.
Truth or lie
God will not have lies, humans won’t have truth—but there’s no third option.
This proverb brings to mind that whatever we say comes with consequences, and not speaking isn’t really an option, because that has consequences too.
You have to choose, one way or another—and accept whatever consequences follow.