An Apology To Everyone I Have Made Feel Ashamed

When we feel we have arrived at enlightenment or know what is right it can be easy to forget that everyone else is still on their journey. It can be even easier to forget that just when we think we know what's right we stop learning and growing. In this episode, Carly talks about the many times she has unintentionally made people feel ashamed for not being as "with it" as her. She admits how damaging this is and encourages the listener to examine their own ways of communicating in hopes to foster true conversation that results in change.

Please note, this episode has been transcribed by a computer, expect some typos!

Carly Puch

Welcome back to another episode of Consciously Clueless. I'm your host, Carly, and I'll be your guide on this journey from consciousness to cluelessness and back around again. Somehow we are already at Sunday again for another solo episode. Whether it's Sunday night, you're getting ready for the week, Monday morning and you're driving to work, or whatever day This episode is found you. I'm really glad you're here. Before we get going, today, I want to read a review of the week from Apple podcasts. This one is titled three exclamation points, and is five stars from KN406. "Loved the podcast with john rash made me think about things in a new light. It was inspiring, and refreshing, well done." I also loved the podcast episode with john rash, he was such a great guest. I hope to have him on again, thank you so much for that review.

So tonight, I want to talk about something that is very vulnerable for me, but I think is really necessary for me to own. I have talked to so many amazing people on this podcast already, that have made me rethink, reevaluate, re examine a lot of the things that I thought I knew to be true. Sometimes we get to a point where we think we know it, we get it, right. That's the whole concept of the podcasts conscious or clueless, we think we're conscious, and we've got it, we can check all these boxes, and we know it all. But when you get to that point, you're not really learning anymore. And I would probably argue that you know, less, if you think you know, at all. But I think back to some of the moments where I was learning about things that I'm passionate about now

When I think back to college, and I was learning about feminism, and the patriarchy and sexism, and I finally had language, to talk about the things that I had experienced or people in my life had experienced. Or I learned about more political things than I did growing up, or I rallied for gay marriage at the state capitol, or whatever it was, once I decided that I was passionate about something, I very much so forgot that it took me my own journey to get there. And if people around me weren't with it, I didn't understand. blinders went up. And I think that it's easy to fall into that trap with anything. I know I've done it with veganism, or zero waste, or health and all of those things.

So if anyone here is listening, that is in my life, or that has followed me online. And if at any point, I made you feel bad for where you're at in your journey, or made you feel judged, I am so sorry. Because I don't like that feeling. And it took a lot of self reflection to realize that I have the capability to do that to that I have done that. And we'll probably do it in the future. This isn't one of those boxes, I can check and be one and done. But I wanted to call attention to it because it's a human thing to do. I know I've done that with being vegan. I've talked about this on the podcast with a few different guests. But you go through that phase. And specifically last week, I talked on my solo episode about the angry vegan phase, where you just all of a sudden you get it. I can't explain it until you get there. But when you look around, you wonder why all these systems of injustice still exist and it's mind boggling and anybody else who doesn't get it. Anybody else who's not on the same page. It's suddenly so frustrating even though it took me however long to understand. And it is still taking me time to learn more nuances and more intersections.

I didn't know because of my privilege or because of my education or whatever it is. with zero waste, it's so easy to get into these things, you know, like, let's talk about living with less plastic or the environment, without understanding how for some people, that's not even a possibility to be on their radar, it's a privilege to be able to make choices about the things we purchase, or the food we eat, or how we take care of the environment. It's a privilege. And I know that I have gotten on my high horse or my pedestal or whatever it is, and oftentimes not realizing it. And that's not an excuse, because intent doesn't matter when the impact is so grave. But I am trying to be a lot more conscious, instead of clueless about how I approach these topics, because I don't know at all, that's one of the best parts of this podcast is, I get to learn along with all of you, every guest that I have on, teaches me something and expands my worldview in an unexpected way. And that is amazing. But it also means sometimes you have to admit that you were wrong. And I have been wrong. I have not understood the intersections of access to healthy food, I will totally own that I have been wrong about the access to low waste lifestyles, or about cultural differences and understandings. I mean, the list is so long, but I could make a long list of how I've been wrong

But that is the point of this space. And that is the point of life is to keep learning and keep on learning and relearning and re evaluating. Because if I would have just stood still where I was a couple years ago, probably would have lost a lot of people in my life. It doesn't make you feel good when someone, even though maybe I was trying to help people. It doesn't make you feel good to have someone shaming you. That's the feeling that comes up. When someone tries to tell you do it this way, I can't believe you don't get it, I can't believe you don't understand, I can't believe you eat that I can't believe you just bought that whatever it is. And it comes from this place of deep concern for humanity and the earth and animals and everything.

But intent doesn't always matter. When the impact is damaging. It can be really damaging. And I'm not saying that to take away, you know, like, but I had good intentions. And I'm not saying that to excuse that. But it's true, because I think a lot of people can relate to that. You genuinely have no idea until you get away from the situation a little bit. And realize that could have been handled differently. Or I could have talked about that differently. Or Wow, I didn't know that. I had never thought about it in that way. And I think it's really important, more and more to publicly own when we're wrong, or not even wrong. But when we misunderstood or we didn't have the information and now we have more and our understanding of a topic gets to grow. Because that allows other people to make mistakes and to try and to also say hey, I didn't understand I was wrong, and then you grow. So I was wrong. I am sorry for any person that I made feel ashamed of their choices because they weren't good enough.

That is never, ever, ever the feeling I want to leave someone with whether we have a conversation in person, whether it's a friend asking for advice, or whether you follow me on social media. I don't want to leave someone feeling ashamed. I want to leave someone feeling empowered to move towards better health or better wellness or practices that are available to you. You that can help the earth are unlearning the deeply rooted sexism and racism that is in all of us anything, whatever it is. It's not to be shameful that is not the feeling I want people to leave with even these really hard topics. I mean, this will date this episode, but it's October 11 of 2020. And we're less than a month away from the election. There are a lot of difficult topics being discussed right now, as they should be their lives at stake with the decisions we are making in the next few weeks. But I have had so much more success in talking to people when it's a conversation, rather than me get on my soapbox. And let me clarify, that doesn't mean I won't call out bullshit. That doesn't mean, if you're an asshole, you don't get to be told, You can't say that. That's not what I mean. And that's not what I want anybody else to feel either. I'm talking about those moments where you're trying to help someone along, that's willing to listen, not people that are being rude and hurtful and damaging. Those people deserve those harder conversations. But I'm talking about those people that you're trying to bring along with you. But not shame. Shame is a bad feeling. Shame makes us close up. Shame does not make us listen and open up to new possibilities. It makes us feel bad about our actions. And it's okay, it's okay to feel bad when you're learning. Because sometimes you learn how you're a part of the system. And that makes you feel bad. It's okay to feel bad because that can be motivating. But you can't stay in that place of shame. or stay in that place of feeling bad. And when someone continues to pound on you and make you feel shameful, you might get stuck there. I don't want to make anyone stuck there. I've had to feel bad. I've had to feel bad about things I've said or things I've done

There are things I've said years ago that I can't, that just make me shudder, or Halloween costumes I wore or whatever it is, I mean, that list can be really long too. But if all I did was feel bad about them, that's not helping it. That's not making it better. That's not making me better. I have to learn and then move forward. I have to learn, and then realize that I can make a difference. And that's what I want to inspire in others is to create an environment where there's learning. And then you're motivated to move forward with it. You're motivated to do something because you're inspired not because you feel bad. Not because you feel bad. And I'm sure listening to this, you can think of times when you've been on both sides, when you've been made to feel bad about something but also when you've made someone feel bad. Even if it wasn't your intention. But we can approach these conversations differently. We can have really hard conversations. Let me reframe that. Not we can, we have to have hard conversations about whatever it is, there are a lot of things to unpack and undo, there are a lot of systems that are broken. Not even broken. They're operating exactly how they're supposed to. But they only benefit a few these conversations have to happen.

But if we're stuck in shame, we're not going to fix the systems. We're not going to go vegan because someone's been making us feel bad for a year by everything they post. This is a huge point of contention, specifically in the vegan community. Because there's a lot of different tactics on how to talk to people. But I definitely have realized that in the beginning when I was angry, and when I wanted everyone to listen to me. That is not when I had productive conversations. But when I just talked about how I was living, about why it's important to me I didn't hide the truth. I didn't not talk about animal agriculture or the unhealthy Western diet. I didn't change what I was talking about, but it was how to talk about it. Because you have to be able to reverse that thinking and think if I was the one receiving in this conversation, would it be helpful? And if not, then you're probably not doing it right. Probably not doing it right. So I want to own that. I want to own that I am learning that I am human that I have messed up, that I've probably made people feel bad about their choices. And then I probably will in the future. But I want to own that. So we can all own those moments, and we can move forward. And we can learn from them.

I had an amazing conversation today with a guest who reminded me of that, that it's my work to be done. But then I also have to be really careful with how I have that conversation, how I have any hard conversation with people. Because the outcome will vary based on how you approach it. And if we want to make change, if we want to make this world a better place, we have to figure out how to talk to people and make it happen. It's not productive, to yell and make people feel bad. That might work with some but that's not the best strategy. And so if our goal is really to make the world better, and not just make ourselves feel better, or our point come across, then we have to learn how to have these hard conversations in productive ways. I hope that makes sense. I hope you can relate in some way. And I hope it makes things easier to understand when you have those hard conversations where people are coming from than where you're coming from.

Thanks for listening to another episode of consciously clueless. I am really loving these solo episodes and getting to dive into things that are in my brain that week just a little bit further and see if all of you can relate. And I hope that you had with this one, because it was really important. If you are loving this podcast, hit subscribe wherever you're listening. If you want to help me get this into the ears of more listeners, send it to a family member texted to a friend share on social media. And also go ahead and leave a review on Apple podcasts and you could get read as a review of the week on and until next time.