Another week gone. Are there any takes?
Here’s the podcast I recorded with Melanie over at the CRJ about Brené Brown. Glad to hear the article was pretty helpful. It was the most propitious time to be doing it, honestly, as the world was beginning to shut down. And as I’ve now said a hundred times, if you’re thinking of reading more about shame, bypass Brown and go straight to Curt Thompson. He has lots of stuff on youtube too, and though he is a Christian and a man (I know, not as exciting) he gets right at the same issues that she does, but brings Jesus along with him. I was really helped.
I’m about to dive into the final round of book work, after two glorious days off. It was so sunny that I pretended to help the girls through their schoolwork outside while gardening furiously. I even puttered around on the internet at bit—not much, though, because looking at a computer makes my face hurt now. Indeed, all screens are physically painful. I guess I can’t blame covid, though maybe a little bit. Having to only relate to people online and have to stare at the wretched thing for work too is ruining the soul of the world, I’m pretty sure.
I did love this—what will happen to this generation of children as a result of covid. As always, I think it’s the little things that all add up into a sort of imperceptible change of life. Like shaking hands, or the very prevalence of screens at all. If I thought I could ever live without them, I guess I can’t, or I won’t at any rate, and neither will my children. They will always have technology as one of the chief defining parameters of their lives. In two hundred years, someone will write the definitive analysis. For now, we can but keep scrolling along and wondering.
It does make the whole thing so strangely public, though. Being each person in her own house with her own upended life, wrenched away from all the usual supports and “embodied,” quoth, relationships, nevertheless she can “see” other people online—people who are either ok or not ok. I say “she,” it’s men too. I just don’t talk to them as much. It’s the melting down of people I know, and not being able to do anything about it, nor they either, that is so strange. I can see it going by on the screen, but there is no practical remedy but prayer.
Well, there is this terrible meme by someone I hadn’t heard of before on Instagram and Facebook. My goodness:
And badly timed. Where are all the goddesses now? Eating tubes of uncooked cookie dough and cursing the darkness. Honestly, how utterly foolish.
I said it before, but it’s not deeply helpful to make a sharp line between guilt and shame. We do bad things because we are bad, not the other way around. We sin because we are sinners. So when you feel bad, a lot of the time, it is because you are bad. Not always, but a goodly amount. Your bad actions flow out of your bad heart. So the way to deal with feelings of shame is not (a la meme up there) to announce that you are strong and brave and beautiful and not ashamed, but to find the person who can comfort and restore you. You are not a goddess. You need God, who hides you in himself, who effectively eradicates shame for eternity.
Well, back to the shiny screen. I need a slightly different twist on “grindstone.” Someone cleverer than me needs to work out a pun from the two. If you need me, you can find me online, sob. Meanwhile, go check out more takes!