In order to live a full and abundant life, I must believe and accept my own self-image. It must be realistic and I need to be able to trust myself. Never ashamed, I must accept myself as a person made just as I was supposed to be made. I must know who I am, my likes and dislikes, and honestly know and accept my strengths and my weaknesses.
Shame leads to creativity being blocked and this leads to hostility, bitterness, and hard-to-get-along-with behaviour. In fact, when in shame we will do things that go against our character! It is in the moment that we find ourselves saying, “Who is that person?” in reference to our actions that we need to be asking, “What am I feeling ashamed about to cause me to act like this?”. When my life is ruled by shame, guilt, anxiety, fear, self-hate and condemnation- then I am choosing to choke out the life gifts that allow me to contribute to the world. This is spiritual death.
What are some important thoughts and beliefs when it comes to self-image?
- I have a right to be here
- I have a right to be myself
- I am good enough and deserving
- My past is a part of me and continuing to shame myself about past mistakes serves no one
- My past is what has helped shape me and I choose to grow from my past, and help others by using my past to teach and share
- I can be me and I am not a burden to myself
- I am okay and God loves me, so I can love me
This week I was able to test these things, as I had to respond to a person who had me on a road of shame for many years. I have an advantage now as I have learned and become aware of many activators that lead to a shame reaction. How different to look at things from this angle and how much easier to respond with an emotional detachment that allows for a response and not a reaction. I was able to go forth with a quiet confidence. What a gift!
Today, go forth and let go of shame that you are feeling. Open yourself up to the peace and empowerment of self-acceptance. You must retrain your mind to think of thoughts that lift you up, and literally push shame right out of your mind and life. Do not allow others to tell you who you are or to feel shameful or ashamed. You can do this because you are worthy, smart and able.
A quote that I am not sure who to give credit to, “People who love themselves and hold themselves in high esteem are those who give the most, contribute the most, and love the most.”