It's Never Too Late ...

Photo taken by Amber Ellis @

Photo taken by Amber Ellis @

…. to tell your truth.

With the events that have been happening in the news of late, it’s really got me thinking as all these emotions are churned to the surface. I’m confused, I’m angry, I’m deeply disappointed and saddened as to how we’re in this place right now.

Regardless of how I feel about what is going on, the one thing that became crystal clear to me, and hopefully, for anyone else who has experienced shame in this world, is that it’s never too late to tell your truth.

When you’re in it, you hope that the people who surround you, that love you, will ultimately understand + accept the words as you say them. That they will accept your actions. But you don’t know how they will react + the depending on the situation, they may never truly understand, being too triggered by the situation themselves to fully hear what you have to say. Over time I’ve come to understand that sometimes that’s just the way it is… It doesn’t feel great. But there’s no ill-intent, or right or wrong in it either. People are at where they’re at in their journeys. But the catch — is just because someone doesn’t understand or accept your experience, doesn’t mean it’s wrong or any less valid. That’s where I feel things become a little murky.

I’ve walked away from situations that have deeply hurt me. Straight up self-preservation. Experiences that have scarred my in ways that I didn’t fully appreciate until I had the time + space away from the situation. In the moment though, the people that I loved and trusted the most didn’t understand why. They couldn’t … there was too much … too much politics, too much cultural clutter, too many impacted friendships, too much to lose, too much to see … just too much, that they were not ready to deal with for whatever reason. And the ‘brave’ face that I was putting on the for the world didn’t help matters either. For me there was also too much … too much anger, too much embarrassment, too much disappointment + sadness, too much disbelief + shame.

Yasss! SO much shame.

That I could have done more, said something, done something differently to have this situation not happen to me. This is and continues to be a tough for me, as I’ve found there’s usually levels to dealing shame. As an ambitious black woman, working in the corporate world I am damn good at what I do. As a project manager, I’ve been placed in these impossible situations and have found a way to make it work. I’m respected by my team + coworkers. I over deliver. Somehow, someway I will get it done. So when I found myself in a situation where my work ethic, my professionalism + my integrity were being questioned. I did not know how to react. Suffice it to say, that once that happened it wasn’t very long until my work environment become toxic and I had to walk away from somewhere that I had put a lot of work into building + that personally, had meant a lot to me.

That experience broke my heart. Because if you understand me, who I am + the way I work it was a big blow. One that I couldn’t fight my way through. It took a whole other bunch of skills that I hadn’t quite developed yet to get me through — self-acceptance, self-compassion, self-forgiveness. The big three! Real doozies, I tell ya! I had to accept it for what it was. That situation cracked me open in ways, that I’m still unearthing to this day. It led me to uncovering subconscious cultural ideas + beliefs in myself that helped to foster that situation, it showed me what racism could look like in a Canadian corporate environment + how subversive it can be, and above all, it led me to appreciating how the body is key to curating an awareness in one’s self that is absolutely vital for helping one to have a healthy and successful professional life. Period.

Yes, what I went through sucked but, I’m grateful for it because I’ve learned so much about myself — my strength of character, my resilience, learning to accept ‘what is’, the power of choice + how I can take responsibility for my career moving forward, but most importantly that I love what I do, and I WILL continue to work with joy, unbridled enthusiasm, and with + from my heart to build great things and to have an impact in a way that only I can.

That’s my standard. No apologies.

That experience was like ripping the band aid off, but ultimately it gave me the tools to help me create success in any environment that I find myself. I’ve learned so much these last couple of years, and I’ve made a vow to myself to not only tell my story, but to use all the knowledge gained in these last years + throughout my career to help working professionals become more empowered in their lives + in their careers. Not working the 9-5 job is not the solve to this problem (it could be, if that’s what you want), but there is a way to create a career you love + own it, so that you’re the one charting your own course. I want that for you. I want that for all us.

But wait …

If this is sounds like you, here’s what I want you to do:

take a breath. Open Your Heart.

This is a big deal + can be very scary. Find ways to connect with the truth that’s in your heart. It’s time to get real and be honest with yourself. We all work through emotion and connect with our body’s in different ways. Whether your thing, it’s journaling in candle light with a cup of tea, working it out on the dance floor or boxing ring, playing the drums, kneading bread, painting … The key here is finding an activity where you ‘turn off’ the thinking part of your brain and activate your body intelligence, where you allow the other parts of your self a chance to communicate to + through you.

Find at least one person. 

Find your person.  A person you can trust.  A person that’s not your drinking buddy — the intention here is not to complain endlessly into a pint. A person that’s a safe space, a great listener, who’s earned the right to hear your story. A person that you can be absolutely open + honest with about your situation.

Tell your Truth.

Communicate what’s in your heart. This is about taking the first step of shining a light + clearing out the cobwebs. The first step of many to healing your heart + reclaiming your power. You got this.

Much Love, Always


ShameJessica Maloney