An addendum to Man’s Guide to Shame.
As you probably know, I recently released an ebook called Man’s Guide to Shame. You can download it over on the right side of the page. You see it there.
If I were to grade myself on this book, as though I’m a student at a progressive East Coast college where shawls never went out of style, I’d give it somewhere between a C+ and a B. So let’s call it a B-.
If you follow the seven steps I lay out in the book, you will, without doubt, have less shame in your life. And you’ll receive all the boons of having less shame: confidence, well-being, self-respect, and in general, the feeling like you have the right to exist.
Depending on how much shame you were lugging around, you may even begin to see yourself as an entirely different man. Avenues that previously seemed shut off from you will now be named after you. You’ll think, “Why didn’t I think of doing [insert what you want] before? Oh yeah, I hated myself. I mean, I still hate myself but now I’m at least aware of it.”
But how exactly do the steps I lay out in Man’s Guide to Shame cause this transformation within you? When I released the book, I felt like it was missing something—now I believe a brief explanation of the books process is this missing something. This is in part why I only get a B-.
So below is this explanation I would like to insert into the book now. I would have included this section just before step one, The Anal Phase.
Turning Over Rocks
How exactly are the seven following steps going to force you to confront, understand, and then overcome your shame? Let me use a metaphor to explain.
In the backyard of my childhood home, several large rocks and railroad ties lined the far edge. These rocks and ties made the yard look more presentable, but when you turned them over, you were hit with a face full of bugs and mold. “Yikes,” you thought. “Better leave these rocks the way they were.”
The following seven steps naturally turn over the rocks of your psychology to see what’s really there; the steps put you in situations in which you’re forced to see yourself for what you are. At first, it may be gross to look at yourself, but after a while, you’ll accept it, and you’ll be a more complete person. When your rocks are turned over, you eventually develop an implicit belief running throughout your psyche that you’re okay, that you have the right to exist.
You could talk or journal your way into turning the rocks over, but that’s like imagining what it’s like to jump off a cliff instead of just jumping off the cliff yourself. The only reason you’re avoiding the leap is because you’re afraid of it.
And eventually, a you keep the rocks turned over, the mold and bugs will clear up.
There, now we’re up to a B+.