In recent months, probably the last year, I have discovered much that I am ashamed of. My religious background, my sexual past, my education, my current lifestyle, and more. Some of those I have begun to work on, and while extremely difficult, I persist.
I’m finding that every time I open up the door to work on my shame, I find more things I’m ashamed of. I’m now at the point that I’m hoping beyond belief that there is a finite number of things of which I am ashamed, and that eventually I’ll have addressed everything by a certain time. Right now, I’m aiming for by the time I have children and need to raise them.
The other part of me believes that this is false hope. That shame is something that continually develops and requires constant effort.
If that’s the case, however, then I may need to shift my focus. As I learn to address my “shames,” I do indeed gain skills that can be applied to other areas of shame. But maybe the skills are what I need to develop before I try beating back my shames.
Meaning, maybe I need to first develop tools, such as mindfullness, meditation, self-compassion, awareness, honesty with myself and others, BEFORE I even bother to address more of my shame.
Because I’m starting to feel like I’m uncovering shame faster than I’m finding myself capable of dealing with it.
You know what I’m ashamed of now, that I have yet to address?
- I’m ashamed of the porn that I watch, and that I watch porn.
- I’m ashamed of the food I eat.
- I’m ashamed of the times I don’t go to the gym.
- I’m ashamed of still needing financial assistance from my parents.
- I’m ashamed of the jobs for which I believe I’m qualified.
- I’m ashamed of my relationship with my parents.
- I’m ashamed of how cluttered I keep my room.
- I’m ashamed of how much time I spend in my room.
- I’m ashamed of how little I reach out to my friends.
- I’m ashamed that my sister is paying for my therapy.
- In general, I’m ashamed of needing help.
This is not to say I’m ashamed of everything in my life. I have much to be grateful for, and those are what keeps my shames at bay. As I write these lists, I find it interesting how much they overlap.
- I’m grateful for my relationship with my brother.
- I’m grateful for the friends in my life.
- I’m grateful that (though not always) I can have honest conversations with my parents.
- I’m grateful for the support of my parents.
- I’m grateful that I don’t need a job to survive right now.
- I’m grateful for my education.
- I’m grateful for the skills I’ve learned in my Quest to Improve
- I’m grateful to be living in a city of my choosing.
- I’m grateful to be engaged in some of the most wonderful hobbies.
- I’m grateful for my ability to read and write.
- I’m grateful for my strength in getting to the gym.
- I’m grateful that I found someone willing to help me go see a therapist.
- I’m grateful for being encouraged to try mediation.
- In general, I’m grateful for having help.
And I’m grateful that some of ya’ll are listening to me. Thank you.