Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Thank you. Some time ago I heard some one describe shame through an acronym. S (Should) H (Have) A (Already) M (Mastered) E (Everything). For many years of my life I did not feel as though I just made mistakes, but that I was a mistake — because I seldom felt as though I did or was enough. In my attempts to feel like I was enough, I strove to overcompensate for my feelings of S.H.A.M.E.
My lack of self-acceptance and sense of shame started long before I had any inkling that my life was being impacted by my traumatic brain injury and an invisible disability.
In my overcompensation, I took on other people’s criticism of me and developed an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. In the process, I developed a fear of failure, low self-esteem and a poor self-worth. Out of my fear of failure, low self-esteem and a poor self-worth I spent much of my time and energy striving to overcompensate for my core sense of shame. In the process, I attempted to anticipate what other people expected of me, so that they would not think ill of me and thus reinforce my feelings of shame.
I did so because I bought into the notion that my worth and value as a individual was dependent on convincing other people that I was not a mistake, by gaining their acceptance and approval.
In the process of my recovery — from toxic shame based codependency — I have come a long ways. I have come along ways in feeling that my good is good enough and in realizing that my worth, value and esteem is not dependent upon gaining the acceptance and approval of other people. I have come a long ways by seeing my circumstances as a way to build me up, not to keep me down. I have come a long ways, by committing myself to learn, grow and be empowered by my circumstances and experiences.
Nevertheless, when I encounter new experiences, I some times forget that there is no such thing as failure. I forget that with all learning, there is a new learning curve. I forget to remember that I will learn, grow and be empowered by my new circumstance and experience.
In my experience, when I forget to remember these realities, I find myself again feeling shame for not being enough. I forget to remember that my worth and value is not dependent upon what other people think about me. I forget to realize that I am making the best decisions, based on the information that I have been given. I forget to realize that my decisions are good enough. I forget to remember that I do not have to try to control the process or the outcomes. I forget to trust the process and let go of the outcomes.
I forget to let go and let God.
During the past several months I have been in the midst of one of these new circumstances and experiences. I am asking to have my needs met, given financial constraints. I do not think that asking to have my needs met is unreasonable, nevertheless I am seeking to be as adroit as possible. What I am learning through this experience is that I need to let go of my anxiety. I need to trust the process. I need to let go of outcomes. I need to remember that my destiny is not dependent on other people.
I need to remember that I am doing the best job that I know how to do in my new experience. I need to remember that I do not have to S.H.A.M.E. myself for my new learning experience. I need to remember to enjoy the process and see how a loving God is going to work things out for me.
As you read this article and questions come to mind, please send those questions to me. All questions are good question. In the event that you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you. You may send your question (s) or a comment by clicking on this link: Contact Page.
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