“I’ll be back in a minute,” Terri says and quickly escapes to her office. Once inside she instantly breaks down in big silent sobs and with a floodgate of pent-up shame.

Just 30 seconds earlier, in the lobby of her own dance studio, the Mom of a competition dancer outright told Terri she should probably decline the opportunity to represent the studio in an upcoming TV spot because “you know, TV adds weight and we really want to make a good impression.”

Shame honestly has no pity. It is a stubborn, unkind, relentless, entangled web of emotion that oozes with anger, embarrassment, and self-loathing. It gags us when we don’t address it.

Hidden in her office, Terri wept to herself, How did this happen? When did I let this happen?

The full-length mirror in her office had long been obscured by bright costumes, a pair of leg warmers, her winter jacket, and some weird green prop that really needed to be taken back to the storage room.

In a...

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