Guilt and shame crippled me for so long. It took years of identifying shame and grounding myself in love to see my way out. It didn’t help that I glazed over my shame with a smooth layer of perfectionism. I used to believe I could perfectly move myself away from any negative feelings or judgement. I was burying my emotions in a self-destructive belief of actively fixing any imperfect part of my life. It wasn’t until the deepest pain ripped open my heart was I able to let go of my ideal perfectionism. When I lost my child from preterm birth I was flooded with every negative feeling. She was a twin and her sister survived. The shame that came along with the experience was crushing. It was coupled with the guilt of not being able to carry my children full-term which drove me down a dark path of shame.
Nothing changed until I decided to accept the truth. The unfortunate truth is I lost a daughter. The truth was my pregnancy had been cut short due to medical challenges. I could not change that. There was not a perfect move to undo the pain. Nothing could be said or done to take away the hurt. Brene´ Brown says in The Gifts of Imperfections,” Feeling shamed, judged, and blamed (and the fear of those feelings) are realities of the human experience”. I realized when I acknowledged the shame and guilt I felt for not being able to fix my experience, true healing began. I realized all this time I’ve been punishing myself for losing my daughter. I didn’t feel worthy of living a good life because she didn’t live. I held on to the guilt and shame instead of letting the feelings pass.
The feeling of regret and disgrace disguised as truth stemming from a circumstance or experience is shame. Shame robs us of being in our true nature of love. It is an internal suffering we apply to ourselves that causes deep pain. To rid ourselves of shame’s unyielding grasp we must get back to our truth, letting the feeling pass. Remember, feelings are temporary visitors and the choice is ours to give negative feelings power over our minds. How do we acknowledge shame without giving it power? Where do we find the courage to stay in our power of truth and love? I’ve found theses three beliefs to help me navigate moments of gravid emotions.
1. Say your truth out loud.
· Have an honest and clear look at the circumstance or situation without judgement.
· Truth is the actual state of the matter.
· Only you know what that is for you.
2. Give yourself grace and time to unfold.
· Be clear about your actions and the part you played in a situation.
· Forgive yourself for holding onto something that wasn’t yours to hold.
· Accept the fundamental reality apart from the perceived experience.
3. Surrender to your feelings and do the work.
· Let go of all presumptions that no longer serves you.
· Let go of the unwanted expectations that reveal themselves.
· Accept the current moment for what it is.
· Do not expect anything but instead feel and let your feelings flow
Love is our true nature. We feel aligned, balanced, and whole when we are in the flow of love. Carrying shame robs us of this. Remember, our feelings are temporary visitors. It is a personal choice to allow feelings to have power over our minds and distort our actions. When dealing with shame acknowledge it without giving it power. The more you practice staying in the power of your truth, the more courage will grow to dismantle shame.