We often compare ourselves to others and when we don’t measure up according to our assessment, we feel ashamed. How often do we pick ourselves apart and say horrible things to ourselves?
You are stupid!
You are fat!
Sound familiar? We all get into negative patterns and start saying horrible things to ourselves. What we did might have been stupid, but we are not stupid. We might have some fat that we don’t want, but we are not fat.
When we make it personal, then we associate shame with it. The way to stop the negativity is with compassion. When we become understanding of the situation, then we take away the power of the shame and its ability to hurt us. Sometimes all we need is a gentle reminder to help us see the situation differently.
I used to view my scars with such shame. My imperfections and scars made me feel as if there was something wrong with me as a person. It made me feel unworthy, and underserving of love. For so long, I harbored a victim’s mentality about them. When I shifted from a victim to a survivor, everything about my scars changed. They were no longer shameful. Instead of seeing myself as someone who endured tragedy, I was able to see myself as someone who overcame it.
My situation didn’t change. I still have scars. But the story that I associated with the scars changed. Once it changed, I no longer felt shame.
Instead of shaming ourselves or others, when something doesn’t go exactly right, why don’t we try to understand. Before pointing a finger at anyone else, we should look at our own life. Do we have a similar experience? Perhaps we could use our experience to help the person struggling. It is so comforting to know that we are not alone, and that someone else has walked in our shoes and overcome the struggle.
It amazes me at how God uses my struggles to help others. Now, whenever I go through a hardship, I always think, if I can get through this, then I can show others how to get through it as well.
Love and blessings,