“I’m kind of trash. I should’ve done things differently.” I heard someone who’s intelligent, gifted, and talented say this. I thought about how much shame a person must carry to look in the mirror and say this to themselves. It hurt my heart which led to this post. There are many layers to shame, so it will take us a few posts to get through it. So why don’t we start the series with talking about where shame comes from.
Shame is a painful feeling that comes from past mistakes. Shame arises externally: as in from other people telling us how shitty our mistake was. Shame arises internally: as in us telling ourselves how shitty our mistake was.
There is a difference between acknowledging the mistake and judging ourselves for making the mistake. When we acknowledge our mistake, that leaves room for us to create solutions for path correction. Judging ourselves, our intelligence, and our worth doesn’t lead to anything but more shame. The internal shame is the pain that lingers when we have made the mistake our identity.
When we make the mistake part of our identity, whether it’s consciously or subconsciously, we use the mistake to dictate our future. We say we don’t know the future, but when the mistake is our identity, our future will look like our present. If we don’t like our present, we must free ourselves from shame. Forgiving ourselves is the first step in being free from shame.
Stay tuned for the next post about turning shame into ashes by forgiving yourself.