I have shame.
I have A LOT of shame.
I was raised in a home where shame was a teaching tool, and I daresay I'm not alone. I daresay that's not uncommon. I daresay my parents are amazing parents. But there was a lot of shame.
In the past year, I've learned more about shame than I ever have before, so if you already know a Butt Load of Crap about The Shame (I can't even apologize for my Nacho reference. My son is having a bromance with Nacho)... this post will be obvious and old-newsy.
The deal is simply this: I've been shaming myself for having shame, and I've been letting others trigger my shame as well. It turns out I have a pattern of WALKING TOWARD things I feel shameful about:
how much I talk (I make jokes about it instead of speaking up when OTHERS make jokes about it)
how I don't exercise (I find myself at the mercy of Jillian Michaels, putting myself through hell I feel I deserve because... well, it's all very "Tina, you Fat Lard.")
how I have shame (I have established a pattern this last year of going TOWARD people and places who trigger my shame, hoping to somehow overcome it? be bigger than it? not let it beat me?)
how I struggle to keep a clean house (and yet, I pull open housekeeping magazines and linger in impeccably clean homes)
I've been operating under the delusion that shame is something I can baptize myself of: be rid and cleansed of.
But SHAME -and this is where truth and light came flooding in last night -is an EMOTION.
Just like anger, just like frustration, just like sadness come and sit themselves down, so does shame. I have anger triggers, I know what I can do when it comes, and I know that to speak and live from a place of anger is unhealthy.
And so it is with fear.
And so it is with shame.
I have SHAME TRIGGERS. I know what to do when they come, and I know that to speak and live from a place of shame is unhealthy.
So shame? Shame is okay. I learn from my shame.
And as my therapist says, "people without shame are generally unhealthy... we're talking about sociopaths."
Today is the day I stop shaming myself for having shame.
Today is the day I stop running toward my shame triggers.
Today is the day shame joins the ranks of anger, joy, sadness, frustration, excitement, and fear.
Shame is an emotion.
It isn't something I can remove from my being, and I'm grateful. Shame helps me feel a much broader range of human emotion, and each time it creeps in and I DO act on it, I learn.
When I learn, I come closer to God.
I will be shameless in the same way I will be fearless: with shame and fear around me.
Because although they are around me, surrounding me, and popping up daily, God is on my side... He is my Guide.