Shame is messy. As Brené Brown says, shame doesn’t like being named or mentioned. It hates being labelled.

Now the power of naming it and talking to it… that’s power! 

I sat through my recent salon visit reading Viola Davis and let out a few tears during the first third of the book… thank God for masks being a thing. The second third of the book felt like being put through a suspense movie based on a true-life story because this could literally go either way! The last third affirmed something I’ve felt and known: no one just stumbles upon goodness, peace and abundance, you choose it. You intentionally work towards it every day, it requires forgiveness, owning shame (for yourself & not for public consumption), owning self, and letting in the things you claim and know are good for you, unapologetically. 

One thing that struck me in Viola reaching back into some of the pain, shame and secrets is her ability to draw in some humour during some very painful parts. I’ve always been intrigued by the ability of those that have been through so much pain to be so funny and find so much humour in the hurt and pain. I guess it’s a way to release. To let it out… if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry. I did both while reading this memoir.

Viola is so vulnerable in her outletting that she draws down on the pain of the black tax. You think you’ll get out and go back and save everyone but that’s not the reality – “I learned the hard way that when there are underlying issues, money does nothing. In fact, money exacerbates the problem because it takes away the individual’s ability to be held accountable.”

I also know now more than ever as I step into year 32 that “Working hard is great when it’s motivated by passion, love and enthusiasm. But working hard when it’s motivated by deprivation is not pleasant”- I never want to just work hard and do it out of fear of missing the bag, my best work has always been the work that is filled with love and healing. 

The many themes that Viola covers will make you sob like a baby in this book:

  • Being born on a plantation
  • Being born into abject poverty and living through it
  • Her serial cheat and abusive father
  • Sexual abusive
  • The impact of abuse in the home
  • Colourism 
  • Being bullied for being black 
  • Her reproductive health journey, fibroids and her hysterectomy journey 
  • No running away from your past and shame
  • Their adoption journey
  • Manifesting and meeting her husband 

Also… I loved the part where Viola mentions that she prayed for a man who was accountable and a man who just loved her. Accountable to God. She didn’t want to just be with a man who is a law unto them-self – but a man who is accountable to something, someone, values, principles. 

Get the book! It’s a MUST read!