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It weighted me down and kept me from being able to totally take in all the good and wonderful experiences I had with others who showed me how much they loved and valued me. I feel grateful that those experiences lived within me until I could reclaim them. With the help of safe, loving others who were the witnesses while I expressed my pain I lifted the Cloak of Shame and finding a loving caring valuable human being underneath. This poem is my tribute to those whose love never died until I could integrate into the wholeness of myself.

My shame is like a cloak
I wear around me.
Its' heavy wool
Makes my body ache.
My spirit cannot soar
With this Cloak of Shame

How will I learn to move?
How will I learn to love?
How will I learn to feel?
How will I learn to thrive?
With this heavy
Cloak of Shame

Sometimes I can take it off
And be free.
To feel as good as anyone
When I remember the darkness
It comes back
This Cloak of Shame

With it hanging on me
I feel less than anyone
I feel inadequate
I feel like a phony
I feel clumsy, stupid
I feel like a confused lost child
With this Cloak of Shame

I want to feel loved
I want to feel valued
I want to see my reflection
In someone else's eyes
But even if its there
I can't see it
With this Cloak of Shame

Unsure of my worth
Disconnected from the earth
Afraid my cover story
Won't hold up
I walk with this heavy
Cloak of shame

Then one day I find others
Who offer the light to a new way.
They show me how to take off
This Cloak of shame

It was scary at first
To let others in
When they offered their
To accept their love to
Guide me to take off
The Cloak of Shame

I feel grateful for my courage
To face the red-eyed monster

That guarded
The Cloak of Shame

I can now run free
I can laugh
I can love
I can feel
I breathe in love
With this Cloak of shame
No longer

Deborah Chelette-Wilson is a relationship coach, authoress and speaker whose powerful message for women is "It's time to stop waiting for permission to be all that we can be(without being a bitch about it)." Her inspiring message helps women harness their personal power, find peace within and become part of the shift in creating healthier and more loving relationships, beginning with the one with their self. In order to honor someone else's heart you must first honor your own.

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