When was the last time you curled-up into in a ball of shame and let those judging voices in your head tell you how inadequate and pathetic you are?
If that sounds familiar, read on … as this Detroit woman, a leader in our community, rescued herself from the scathing criticism of a total stranger.
Danielle Atkinson, with a transparent and authentic voice, shows us how …
Recently, I accidentally sent out an unedited email about two events we had in June.
I got a response from someone on our list, who pointed out my errors and proceeded to write that she was considering not attending because she was worried that my unedited email may be an indicator of the quality of these events.
I’d like to say that I didn’t let her remarks bother me and that I kept it moving.
But I didn’t.
Instead, I shriveled up and sat in that place in my head where I can’t see my own value; that place where I call myself stupid, small and unworthy of people’s attention.
You may have experienced something like this yourself and if you have, you know it’s not a good place to be.
You see, like many people, I have struggled with a learning disability my entire life.
This learning disability makes writing hard for me. I have developed tools to deal with it, including having friends proofread my documents. But when I’m in a hurry things fall though the cracks. It’s happened before and it will happen again.
I don’t have a personal relationship with the woman who harshly critiqued my email, so her comments stung me out of nowhere.
Unknowingly, she used the thing I am most sensitive about and equated it with my worth as a person and the quality of work that I facilitate as the director of Mothering Justice.
After a while of being stuck in that self-doubting place, I realized that it couldn’t be the place this story ends.
Rather, I realized I have to turn it into a teachable moment for myself and others (these are my mom instincts!).
The reason why I’m sharing this with you is because the worthless feeling that I felt is at the heart of Mothering Justice’s work. Our goal is to move women, underrepresented individuals and mothers from a place of dis-empowerment to a place of owning their activism.
As I’m sure you know, people sacrifice their personal power to shame way too often and for a million and one different reasons. This has left a noticeable hole in so many conversations and has severely impeded our progress.
So if you have ever found yourself in the position of doubting your ability to contribute – that you aren’t going to raise your hand because you don’t want to sound stupid, that you aren’t going to join the fight because you don’t have anything to say, or that you aren’t going to send an email because you aren’t a good writer – I urge you to think again.
Your voice is valid and your experience is important.
Mothering Justice has a place for you and our mission is to help you move to the next level of your personal activism.
Contact me if you’d like to know more! We have on-going workshops to support you in helping other women and yourself!