No one enjoys being shamed by a generously proportioned bad opinion and it’s not un-common to turn one terrible review into a wall of pitiful ill feelings. Once we’ve built a nice big barrage around our shame, it’s kind of easy to hide behind it and believe the badness. The trouble is, long after your oppressor has moved onto their next target, you’re still writhing in pain.
We certainly can not control what others think of us or even how they treat us to some extent. However, with a lot of love and focussed intention, we can learn to control how we think of and treat ourselves.
I know some of us harbour deep-seated negative beliefs about ourselves, carry on with some interesting dysfunctional behaviours or perhaps just splash on way too much contemptuous self-loathing each morning which doesn’t help our cause. We may have even had a friend/teacher/parent/meanie glance at us the wrong way once and that simple act caused us to hate everything there is to love about us.
Now, we could pay thousands of hard-earned dollars to a clever therapist to unpack and sift through all of that junk, but a cheaper and more immediate option is to simply acknowledge the hurtful shame that we are allowing ourselves to feel and to stop revelling in it.
There isn’t a soul on Earth who hasn’t made an error. Who hasn’t gone through some really big stuff and made some unusual choices. It’s practically in the human job description to mess up and then mop up and learn and grow and evolve and yet somehow we’re all shocked when we take a seemingly wrong turn. But it’s in the process of weaving our way through the murky maze that we discover the fortuitous dead ends, which ultimately lead us onto the right path.
Sometimes we might even try shifting the shame in an unconscious attempt to try and make someone else feel as awful as us, but that never actually yields a positive result.
The wildest thing we can do, is to uncover our worthiness in amongst our most difficult moments. Find love for ourselves in our tough life lessons and ultimately be at peace with any situation no matter how complex. If we can remind ourselves to trust that we are doing the best we can and to hold our own hand through the rough mountainous ranges, then we will begin to feel the benefit of the most reassuring and gentle support.
We really need to feel deep down in our core that we are worthy and loveable regardless of how many scars or broken bones we have accumulated. Our lives may be messy and imperfect but we are always on an upward trajectory. We need to dock this knowledge in a permanent place in our hearts and minds so that any attempt at shaming is incapable of penetrating the beautiful relationship we have with ourselves.
A bad review lasts for only as long as you are willing to recall it so begin to write a new review. Be the star contributor of your own story and make it full of love and joy and kindness.
Getting back control and starting to feel good is as easy as caring about the words you speak. It’s so important that we speak in a language that encompasses love and forgiveness no matter how sour a lemon we have been served. We need to constantly take an inventory about what we tell ourselves about us and make sure it is as light, pure and positive as possible and understand that we can always improve and do better.
Of course, I am telling myself this information as much as anyone else and we all need to hear it. Speak the kindest, truest, most loving and wonderful words to yourself. Pretend your mum is talking to you, unless she’s actually not that fond of you, then think of someone else who loves you senseless.
External validation is always nice if you can get it, but it’s hard to come by, so don’t sit around waiting for someone to make you feel better. Start liberally applying the acknowledgement of your worth to yourself like a thick and impenetrable zinc cream.
If you need some validation right now and let’s face it, it can’t hurt, then I’m more than happy to give it to you so please take note… You are ok. You are vastly more than ok. You are loving, as well as incredibly loved. You are immensely and immeasurably worthy. You are joyous, complete, perfect in your imperfection. In short, you are brilliantly all encompassing. You are ALL there is.
I am going to try and not give credit to the bad reviews. Seriously, we give way too much power to people who have zero understanding of the complexities of our lives anyway. Don’t let naysayers steel your joy. Guard your words and thoughts carefully and trust that everything that unravels in your life is purposeful and meaningful.
We need to first believe, and then progress to work on knowing with complete certainty that the Universe is deliberately delivering us exactly what we need at any given time. There are no mistakes. The most important job we have in this World is to care about the way we feel. When we care about how we feel and are always looking to feel good about ourselves, then the shame has no business but to bugger off. Shame can’t survive in all that light, but we can certainly thrive if we allow ourselves to bask in the beauty of our own self-love.