We all have multiple parts, or selves, living inside us. Some of the selves are friendly and nice, others are unkind, harsh and shaming.
For much of my life, my shaming selves seemed the loudest.
They were the loudest voices heard, mimicking all the authority figures from my childhood. Those whose fears were projected onto the small child I was. Those who were not living to their full potential and felt defeated, so they attempted to shield me from the disappointments they were living with. Those whose voices shamed instead of protected when it was most needed, out of no fault of their own, but circumstances and simply being human.
Yet, it was those beliefs, those shaming projections buried in my subconscious, that ran the majority of my thinking for years, preventing me from moving forward in life.
The “I should be more” shaming belief so many of us live with and have lived with since childhood.
The “I am only good enough if I do X” that prevailed so heavily in my words actions and, my choices.
Even the shame of knowing years had been spent trying to drown out those harsh voices with alcohol, drugs, overeating, perfectionism and prestige caused more feelings of shame, so much so, escape seemed impossible.
No matter what I did, it felt as if ridding myself of shame was as likely as ridding myself of the color of my eyes.
Until the day I realized I could choose to befriend this debilitating shame that kept me stuck, lonely and isolated from loving relationships with others as well as myself. I alone, held the power to acknowledge I am a human with secrets, an inherently good person what times, doesn’t make good choices. I could accept my shame, for the teacher that it ultimately is, and make peace with it instead of trying to rid myself of it.
I already understood all the shaming beliefs I carried had been formed when I was young and had no other option but to figure things out on my own. As a scared child, I did not have the resources.
As a child, I could not choose.
But now, as the adult I have become, I realize how futile trying to figure things out on my own as a child actually was. How futile those shaming voices and beliefs I carried around were when searching for love, support and forgiveness.
As an adult, I have the resources, the necessary tools, the wisdom and insight, the knowledge and understanding to know I need to and can reconnect with that small child, bringing love, patience and compassion to the shame in effort to accept it as a part of me.
As an adult, I can understand these shaming voices are trying to protect the child within me. I can ask what is needed from me, the resourceful adult, to once again feel loved and accepted, safe and protected from the fears instilled within.
As an adult, I can speak my shame, which only becomes stronger and stronger when kept in secret, out loud, loosening its grip and power, which has kept me detached, alone and unable to talk to others.
As an adult, I can meet and befriend my shame, choosing to love and accept it. I can choose to accept healing. I can choose to love and accept myself regardless of the shame. I can choose to love and accept all the multiple parts of myself.
As an adult, I can choose to make peace with my shame.
As an adult, I can choose the most profoundly loving and healing thing one can do… to fully love and accept all the parts that exist within myself, even if they never change.
As an adult, I can choose.