When I was in my disease I walked around constantly wrapped in my shame and guilt quilt. I had done it so long I had gotten quite comfortable in it. It felt safe wrapped in there, but it was keeping me from getting well.
I walked around with a lot of guilt and shame before finding the courage to ask for help. I let that guilt and shame distance me from my friends and family, from those who cared about me and from a solution that could save me. I had let others’ opinions, or ways of life, influence my thoughts about myself, I had let my own negative self-talk take over and let it control me, and I had lowered the bar so many times of what I would and wouldn’t do that I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore. I was riddled with shame and guilt, so I accepted it and wrapped myself up in it.
We all have done things we may regret, or in hindsight, were not the best choices for us, we’ve made mistakes, let things slide, and participated in things we shouldn’t have, no one is immune to one or all of these things, so why do we put such unattainable expectations on ourselves to be perfect and to make the right choices each time, especially when we may also be battling an internal struggle that goes far beyond good or bad choices.
There are those of us too who wear their shame and guilt quilt like a badge of honor, or it becomes our identity, we constantly bring attention to those things we feel ashamed or guilty for, we use it as a way to self-deprecate to pull ourselves down, which can lead to self-loathing or self-sabotaging, and believing we don’t deserve to feel good about ourselves and what we’ve done. That shame and guilt quilt becomes a shroud of darkness that we carry with us into everything we do and until we take it off nothing positive can penetrate it as it keeps the light from getting in.
It took a lot for me to lose my shame and guilt quilt, the price was nearly my life, I had to find the courage to peek out from that quilt and ask for help and then find the willingness and humility to take what was suggested and get to work. Today I have left that quilt long behind and live in the light. There’s no place for shame and guilt in my life today, and I know, from experience, that nothing I had done, or will do, is anything I need to be ashamed of because anything I do I can apologize for or make an amends, and most importantly, I can find forgiveness in myself. That one is huge. I have learned over the years to forgive myself for my mistakes or shortcomings, or anything I may deem as my fault, finding that forgiveness was the key to shedding my shame and guilt quilt, and it may be your key as well.
There is no need to walk around in shame for what we’ve done, we learn from our mistakes and hopefully those lessons help us to make better choices next time. No one gets it right, or perfect, each time. But when we use those mistakes to punish ourselves and isolate ourselves from those around us we remove the chance to learn and to get better. Throw your shame and guilt quilt to the ground and find forgiveness in yourself, forgiveness for being human and for walking through life fighting battles others may not see. Allow yourself to be your best self. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you walk around wrapped in a shame and guilt quilt? How does that make you feel? How does that help you? How does that hurt you? Why do you continue to walk around with it instead of letting it go? What can you do to let it go? Why should you let it go? What is it stopping you from doing? How is it preventing you from moving forward? Let go SLAYER, and allow yourself to move on, to get help, to find a solution to your pain or situation you find yourself in. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and find the courage to ask for forgiveness, from others, but most of all, yourself.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you