I get it. Life isn’t fair! But staying stuck in the rear view mirror of life only makes you bitter not better. That was my reality for 13 years after being diagnosed with herpes. I treated the virus like it was a life sentence instead of being life long. The stigma of this incurable disease weighed on my soul and dimmed my light. The shame washed over me like a tsunami. To make it worse, I screamed in silence and didn’t tell a soul about my diagnosis. I kept it to myself.
We have been taught to “never let them see you sweat!” Translation: fake the funk and mask your true feelings if need be. However, this is a very destructive way to deal with issues. It is so important to make vulnerability and transparency a way of life. These two emotions are like wrecking balls used to destroy shame. Without them you will remain imprisoned forever!
I was able to free myself from the chokehold of shame by addressing some fundamental truths. Feel free to use them as you see fit. There are 5 major areas of shame that keep us stuck. They are as follows:
Secrets – The only cure for shame is to expose it. I wish there was another way. But there isn’t. No magic fairy dust or wands can do the trick. You have to do the work the old fashioned way! But you will be so much stronger, confident and proud that you were able to slay the dragon that has had you in bondage for so long.
Hurts – You can’t move forward if you are stuck in the pain. Forgiveness is powerful and mandatory if you seek to find a place of surrender and self love. People will continue to hurt us as long as we live, but we can still choose to keep our eyes toward all that is light, joyful and clean.
Anger– Just how mad are you about the circumstances surrounding your shame? Does it still feel like it happened yesterday even though it’s been years? And how has your anger shown up? Is the glass half empty? Once you openly and honestly work through your anger, you have a decision to make. Do you want to continue with the destructive thoughts, or do you want to get back to happy? We have the choice to walk on sunshine or walk on hot coals. Sometimes we become so comfortable with our misery, that we can’t imagine waking up without it. But when we let go and set our soul free, that’s when the magic happens!
Mindset – Don’t let stinkin’ thinkin’ take you down the dark corridors where shame lurks in the shadows! Decide that you will no longer live as a 2nd class citizen just because you have had some challenging experiences. Break the chains of fear and blame that have a chokehold on your mind, body and spirit. Your subconscious mind really will accept the thoughts that your repeat often. So make them positively affirming, laser focused and crystal clear. When you change your thoughts and attitude, you can change and reshape your world!
Emotions – Make sure you are not living in Stuckville. That place that is familiar and always ready to remind you of the pain and the shame of your traumatic experience. In the spirit of Elsa from the movie Frozen, just let it GO!! The weight is too heavy to bear and will crush you if you aren’t careful. Give yourself permission to release the toxic thoughts and negative self talk that has been a part of your life up to now. You deserve to live your best life. It can happen if you are willing to bury the past so that you can see your breathtaking future!