If you have been waiting for the Leo Season post let me apologize. It will be coming shortly. First, I felt the need to write about shame spirals since I experienced one this morning. This is information I feel can be helpful to anyone else who finds themselves in that state at some point.
There is a post I wrote a while back about my growth and evolution as a person. None of us is perfect and since we’re not this can often lead us to feeling unworthy and ashamed of who we are. Especially if we spend a lot of time living in our shadow selves and little time healing and in the light.
Who do I think I am?
I am someone who is inquisitive, compassionate, and fierce. I have always loved learning and artistic expression. When…
The post above is where I talk a bit about my evolution. There is no way I could tap into the energy I needed to finish the readings when my belly was hot and thick with shame. So, I’ve been sitting here dealing with it and working through it, so that I can get myself back on track.
Brene Brown is my go to expert on shame. She says there are three ways to survive a shame spiral. One is to talk to yourself the way you would someone you love. The second is to reach out to someone you love. The third is to tell your story. This is step three for me before I can finally move on.
Someone who would never in a million years want to cause me shame reached out and asked me a question that ended up causing me shame. Once I felt that shame all the shame over everything I’ve ever gotten wrong seemed to come in all at once. My belly felt sick. My skin felt hot. I understood immediately what was happening because I’m super self-aware.
I spent some time in the quiet talking to myself the way I would someone I loved. Then I reached out and emailed someone I love once I was calm enough to not project the shame onto them. Now I’m telling the story to you. My only other option would be to suffer through it alone, telling myself I’m a piece of shit and no good. This is not healthy, nor the truth.
When people I love make mistakes I would never consider them unworthy or have that one mistake invalidate their growth and evolution. Even though some of those mistakes are far greater than the one I made today. So, why would I invalidate my own growth and evolution? If other people are worthy of grace it only serves to reason I am, too.
No matter what you have done in the past I assure you there is an explanation for it. We don’t have to use that explanation as an excuse to keep doing it, but it does serve as understanding that helps us find self-compassion and forgiveness. Don’t wait for other people to let you off the hook. It’s yourself that must decide to come down from it.
If you find yourself in a shame spiral pause, take a slow, deep breath, and close your eyes. Speak to yourself the way you would someone you love. Remind yourself that this one mistake doesn’t invalidate you, your growth, or any of the good qualities you possess. We all have shadow and light within us, and pretending to be perfect is a way to avoid being seen in your wholeness.
Once you’ve talked yourself down if you’re still feeling a bit out of sorts reach out to someone you know you can trust and explain how you’re working through it. It’s okay to seek reassurance. Sometimes telling that one person the story is enough. For me it was not. I wanted to tell you, too.
You are enough. You matter. Your past, present, and future mistakes do not invalidate your worth. The best thing you can do is learn from the mistakes, so you’re not repeating them over and over, but even then, if it takes a while to learn the lesson at least you learn it. It still doesn’t invalidate your worth.
What you tell yourself matters more than what anyone else will ever tell you, so never start by reaching out to someone else first. If you do you’re likely to project how you’re feeling onto them. Shame doesn’t feel good and so we end up tossing it back and forth like a hot potato. It’s important to sit with the hot thick of it, and to talk yourself down first.
Once you’ve validate yourself and are in a better space then reach out for the reassurance from someone you love and trust. Sometimes you will feel shame and this is normal and natural. We all do at some point. So, you are not alone.
If you wouldn’t tell someone else they’re unworthy why do you tell yourself that? We are all one. It stands to reason that what one of us is worthy of the other is worthy of, too. Separation is an illusion. If you need to go within and heal your inner child, so that shame becomes easier to deal with.
There are moments when the shame is here that I think I’m just not going to make it through, but I always do. I just keep talking to myself the way I would someone I love because I am someone I love. Self-love is essential to everything else in life. Please cultivate it.
My belly is settled now. I’m aware that shame is only a reminder that I have values and I don’t always live up to them. I do better now with that than I have ever done in the past, and that’s enough. I am enough. Most of the time I do not react emotionally anymore, but I am as human as you are.
My value system internally wants to be 100% emotionally intelligent. Well, I’m 100% better at dealing with my emotions that I was ten years ago, and that has to count for something. So, I appreciate the shame as a reminder, and the next time I’m in my feelings I’ll remember to make the right choice.