When 2 young Asian Americans tackle the enormously huge topic of shame, that is quite extraordinary. Several non-Asian Caucasians have recently addressed the concept of shame, most popularly among them is Brené Brown, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing when someone Asian American (or someone Asian) goes public with their battles thru shame.
This bold step takes the shape of a new book by Eddie H. Park, with Hyo Kim, titled: “The Shame Myth: 7 Steps to Advance Your Career, Relationships, and Purpose” + description:
People pleasing. Fear of failure. Insecurity. Lack of vision. Loneliness.
These are reasons why we can’t move forward in our careers and relationships. But the biggest reasons why we don’t advance is shame. Shame keeps us from talking about what’s most important in our lives, our deepest needs, desires, and pain.
In The Shame Myth, I model how to break free from shame and advance in your purpose. I break down years of coaching and mentorship into 7 simple steps on how to advance in your career, relationships, and purpose.
I’m eager to read The Shame Myth and I hope it will be the start of many conversations that must happen if we as Asian Americans and Asians are to experience freedom and healing from that shame that is overbearing and debilitating and paralyzing. The book tackles both personal issues and professional issues related to work, that I anticipate will resonate with many readers. Because, after all, the way to defuse the power of shame is to come out of hiding and exposing it appropriately albeit vulnerably. A scary thing to do indeed. Thank you Eddie and Hyo for using your voices and bringing shame out of the darkness and into the light.
I mentioned how a number of non-Asian Caucasians are addressing the issues of shame; besides Brené Brown‘s popular TED talks and best-selling books, the Torrey Memorial Bible Conference (October 2016) addressed the issues of shame, though reworded in its theme as “Released to be Known.” And, in the 6 recorded videos available for on-demand viewing, none of them are Asian American or Asian.
Notice how its list of recommended books are not authored by Asians or Asian Americans. (I’m guessing there are very few popular published books by Asian American on the topic of shame, yet.)
- The Soul of Shame by Curt Thompson
- I Thought It Was Just Me But It Isn’t: Making the Journey from “What Will People Think” to “I Am Enough” by Brené Brown
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
- Rising Strong by Brené Brown
- Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
- Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
- The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer
- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
- I Don’t Want to Talk About It by Terrence Real
While these are certainly helpful, there’s a level that might not connect with the depths and nuances of being an Asian and/or Asian American reader. Plus, there’s a sense of empowerment to be had when someone Asian American or Asian writes with their own voice, and in so doing, experience a breakthru over shame.
On another note about shame, better framed as honor-shame cultures, a brand new conference is convening this June 2017 in the Chicago area, on the theme, “Honor, Shame and the Gospel: Reframing Our Message for 21st Century Ministry.” 1 of the 6 plenary speakers is Asian (from India). I’d encourage you to consider coming so we can be present with one another. I’ll be there myself, and I’m honored to be included as a workshop speaker on “Towards Erasing the Shame of Mental Illness“—
People of all ethnicities and background share in the human condition where 1 in 6 struggle with mental illness. And yet in most if not all cultures, the shame of finding help and resources for mental health is elusive. This workshop will provide a context for sharing personal stories and currently available resources, as well as explore how the church can be a safe place for healing and wholeness in the area of mental health.