Owning my story.

We, my besties and I, are currently working through Brene Brown's book, Gifts of Imperfection. In this book, she talks quite a bit about shame (since she is a shame researcher) and 'owning your story'. This owning is essential to becoming shame-resilient. I have borne a lot of shame for the past, as I never have felt as if I have achieved the expectations of others I considered important in my life. My failed efforts to be smart enough, strong enough, good enough, talented enough, pretty enough, thin enough, funny enough, and to never to smile "too big" or laugh too loud have gained me nothing but shame and an every-present drive to be perfect. However, I am now striving to learn to accept my colorful journey, along with past hurts and destructive events, as essential in the process of becoming who I am today. Below is a re-post of the About the Author on another of my blogs, which is a start to owning my story, and not feeling shame as a result of it.

This has really come to the forefront in my life not only as a result of reading Brown's book, but also as a result of the first real revealing of my story to an interested professor. Yes, I will have to own this story, or else (I fear) it will cripple my progress in my educational career in religion and ancient Near Eastern studies. I don't want to be ashamed any longer - I am not who anyone has said I am. I am thankful for every day that I have lived, and I earned the right to own my story through laughter, dreams, heartbreak and tears, regardless of the judgments and opinions of others, either real or perceived.

* * * * * *

Hendel D'bu lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved partner, her best friend and her youngest son. She loves to study, write, photograph and travel.

Hendel strongly believes:

in keeping Torah, including Shabbat and the moedim,

in a historical (contextual) hermeneutic of interpreting Scripture,

that there is One Law for both Jew and Gentile,

that Yeshua of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, and thus fulfilled all that was written in the Tanakh.

Hendel was raised in a G-d fearing home, but did not participate in organized religion until the birth of her first child. She attended a large Assemblies of G-d church for eight years, participating heavily in the choir, dance performance and women's ministries. Upon leaving the church, she came home to pray and wait on the LORD for direction. During this time, she attended a women's retreat where one of the workshops featured Hebrew dancing. Being a dancer, Hendel was fascinated and returned home diligently seeking a place to continue to learn Hebrew/Israeli folk and worship dancing.

Upon the leading of the Holy Spirit, she found her way to a messianic synagogue led by a Torah/Pauline scholar and former Baptist pastor. For nearly nine years she sat under his intensive training and teaching, learning the ways of Judaism, biblical and covenant theology, ancient Hebrew culture, the basics of the Hebrew language and re-learning how to interpret Scripture. While studying and living in this Torah-observant community, Hendel discovered her Jewish heritage. She was honored to serve in the community as manager of the small Judaica shop, children's Yeshiva teacher, Festival (and special events) Coordinator, as well as singing in the musical worship team. She also learned Hebrew and Israeli dances, enjoying many Shabbat afternoons dancing with beloved members of the community.

October 2010 brought Hendel home to worship in a small group, away from a congregational setting. This small group worshiped and studied every Shabbat, and had the privilege of sharing festivals and other important events together. Maintaining the liturgical feel of the synagogue, they enjoyed the traditional prayers, oneg, fellowship, and studying various Torah scholars and teachers. As of the turn of the year 2014, Hendel is not attending (or hosting) any formal or informal liturgical meetings, but still seeks to keep the mitzvot and moedim, and continues to long for the day of the LORD, always.

As one chapter of her life nears it's end (homeschooling her three children), a new one begins. HaShem has led Hendel to seek education in religion and classical (ancient civilizations) studies, and anthropology, with the ultimate goal of a doctorate degree. She currently attends Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Washington, as an undergraduate.

Hendel is eternally blessed with her journey and values all her religious and non-religious experiences for what she has learned, and will learn in the future. She is more than honored at the fellowship she has been privileged to enjoy. However, being outside of community has facilitated a type of ownership and validation of her own strong faith and beliefs that has sustained her through the heartbreak of difficult and trying times. She has come to the strong conviction that none of us truly understands how to love as the Master commands, and that loving one another is far more important than we ever realized. It is only when we love each other unconditionally can the love of HaShem be truly witnessed.

Without the presence, grace and mercy of our LORD, no one would be able to do anything. To Him be all the glory forever.


asl4god said…
Well spoken, my lovely sister. Owning who you are through the eyes of our Master is quite a journey and I'm so excited to watch as the layers of shame are peeled away. I love you!!
Ari C'rona said…
Your story is beautiful and uniquely yours, my dear friend. I'm so glad you shared this - I've been thinking about what it means to 'own my story', and now I have a better idea of what that looks like.