Darkness and new life

Laurie Michaelis considers the idea of ‘shame’

Fifteen years ago I was approaching forty. It seemed like time to live my values more authentically. From my late teens I had been committed to working for sustainability. In my mid-twenties I had become a Quaker. Now, perhaps, these two threads could come together.

The following years were the most turbulent in my adult life – perhaps a classic mid-life crisis. I thought I had made some poor choices by ignoring gut feelings. Now I acted more on instincts, and conflicts kept cropping up. I made messy, hurtful and rather public ends to my career and my second Quaker marriage. I was angry and defensive, blaming situations and other people.

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