Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cropped Shame

After having taken a photo with Vanessa, a woman we've known for years, to put on Facebook, I got back to the room and set about editing the photo. I looked critically at it and then began to crop.

This is what the photo looked like:
Photo description: Vanessa and Joe behind me as I sit in my wheelchair. The photo shows us all, in a vertical shot, standing or sitting full bodied.
I then cropped the picture cutting out the bottom half of me, leaving only the top half of me, erasing the largest part of my body, my belly and my legs. This is what that looked like:

as described in text above
Then I began the process of uploading the edited picture to Facebook. As I was doing that I was thinking about my keynote speech tomorrow and about how part of it was how we all need to claim who we are and thereby push shame aside. I looked at the edited picture. I looked at the original picture. I suddenly saw how shame had become an unconscious habit. Shame was just something I did. When I realized that, without even thinking much about it, I had erased a part of who I was, the way I existed in the world, I felt such pain. Why? Why does shame live when I purposely don't water it, I don't set it in the sun, I don't nourish it. But, then maybe I do.

I erased the cropped picture and put up the original:


This is who I am.

5 comments:

miša said...

thank you for sharing this!
love, miša

Sabrina Bartram said...

You have nothing to be ashamed of Dave you are a fantastic guy with loads of talent and a massive heart of warmth and kindness. Ive got issues with my size i hate having my photo taken. My mum dosent make me feel much better always telling me i need to do something about my weight. It has to be something i decide for myself IF and when I'm ready. I went to a weight service recently cos been refered by doctor. They talked about the circle of change and how we often break whatever it is that we want to change for many reasons but mostly it being human nature.
We are who we are, what right has anyone got to judge us based on how thin or big we are?

Ron Arnold said...

Shame is a mushroom. It grows where it's dark.

szera said...

Love you for YOU ... love you for you ... infinite gratitude for your, "cards on the table" communication...your courage to be vulnerable ... hence giving permission to multitudes you are not even aware of to 'try it'.
I do wish for your happiness ... and for you to fall in love with loving yourself with the unconditional love you give to others. I wish for you to see and know yourself through the eyes and hearts of all who know this world and life are eons better for your
inspiring and healing presence.
As always...thank you for sharing!

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

Don't worry - even models who are severely underweight get photoshopped.

You look good in BOTH photos, and are merely thinking about whether you will get to talk to people who really need to hear you if they automatically discount who you ARE.

We are very visual animals - even with constant training, we are programmed by eons of years of evolution in a particular way - all of us.

You have risen above that. I'm constantly catching myself invoking stereotypes - and having to correct myself.

The first photo emphasizes your face - I like your face.