April 08, 2020

Shame






I started reading "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown last night (turns out reading a book before bed is less stressful than reading news. Who knew?). Now I have all sorts of thoughts about shame buzzing around in my brain.

Shame is complicated.

Shame makes it hard to talk about failure. Shame makes it hard to talk about fear. Shame makes it hard to admit our faults to ourselves, let alone admit them to other people, and that makes it hard for us to improve those faults or get over those fears or confront those failures. It makes us feel like we're unworthy.

Humans use shame a lot. Religions teach people to feel shame from a young age. Internet shaming is a real and powerful thing. "So You've Been Publicly Shamed" is a book I read about a year ago that goes over the damage an internet mob can do when they want to shame someone. I don't know if there are good uses of shame, but I don't think using shame to manipulate human behavior is a good thing.

So to me, it's like there are two sides to shame. The shame I feel and the shame I dish out to the world. I want less of it in both cases.

I want to work past shame so I can be a more vulnerable person. I want to show more humanity, especially on social media. But it's hard. Even writing this post I feel protective of myself. I only want to share things I'm proud of, not my fears and failures.

I also want to try and stop using shame. That's hard because I don't really understand how shame pop can up in human interactions or what habits I might have that contribute to making other people feel shame. Maybe Brene Brown can help shed more light on that for me. Guess I'll find out!

March 11, 2020

Which Version of the First Vision?

This April's general conference is bringing up all sorts of bad feelings for me. It's going to be a celebration of the founding story of Mormonism, the First Vision, where Joseph Smith received inspiration not to join any of the existing churches and instead create his own. The way the church handles their telling of the First Vision is a good example of why I feel the Mormon church is dishonest. They only tell one version of the story. I learned about the different versions as a senior in high school. I felt betrayed and lied to because I had never been taught about the different versions or even heard about them in church. 

 Are they going to discuss the different versions of the first vision that Joseph Smith wrote in this general conference? The conference is going to be over 8 hours long. SURELY there is time to discuss the different accounts? My guess at what they will actually do is that they will mention that the other versions exist, but they will gloss over the details. They won't present anything that would challenge the version they have been presenting for years and will make it sound like there is nothing significant about the differences between versions.