It’s a well-acknowledged fact that each one of us, at least once, has done something that made them feel like curling up in a ball, pulling a blanket over their head, and hiding from the rest of the world, perhaps forever.
While sometimes shame could be due to a one-time incident or situation, there are some people who carry this sense of remorse with them throughout their life. Also, in some cases, some people feel this shame for no clear reason other than perhaps being ashamed of themselves.
Shame Among Others
Shame, at its core, wouldn’t exist without the fear of ruining your carefully cultivated image in front of others. Ironically, this shame could also be the thing that’s stopping you from having healthy and meaningful relationships in your life.
The connection you have with yourself is possibly the most important relationship you will ever have. Our interactions with ourselves serve as a model for our interactions with others and ever so subtly, sets the tone for how all our relationships will look like.
The presence of shame can affect your relationship with yourself and affect the intimacy present in our relationships. This is because our communication style, limits, and ability to be open with others are all influenced by our self-esteem and how much of ourselves we’re willing to put out there.
It’s not easy to let go of that sense of shame and stand on solid ground filled with pride about who you are, but here are some ways you can gradually begin healing, forgiving yourself, and ridding your soul of that shame forever.
How to Forgive Yourself?
1. Learn to Have Self-Compassion
Self-compassion doesn’t necessarily mean letting yourself off the hook for every wrong you’ve done. When you’re having a bad day, fail, or notice something you don’t like in yourself, self-compassion is being able to remember who you are through those dark moments.
Compassion comes from understanding the intentions and reasons behind an action, and who could better understand you than yourself? Self-compassion entails reminding yourself that you are a human being who makes mistakes and is not expected to be fault-free anyway!
2. Honor Your Personal Needs
This one is extremely important for people-pleasers. It happens too often that you find yourself in a situation and place that you never wanted to be in the first place, but you did it anyway for someone else.
It’s important to honor your needs and subsequently set boundaries, in both big things, and small. This doesn’t mean never stepping out of your comfort zone, but that sense of awareness of what you really want, what you’re doing, and who are you doing it for will make sure you stop and check when it comes to the big things as well.
3. Create a Self-Care Routine
You don’t have to be a skincare enthusiast or gym rat to set some time for self-care. In its origin, self-care is a time for you to give your soul and body what they need and what will leave them feeling better and taken care of. The easiest way to start is to find one small step that you can implement into your routine consistently. For some, this is shedding some weight off at the gym, and for others, it’s reading a book in bed. There’s no rule to what self-care looks like as long as it leaves you feeling physically – and mentally – better.
The next time you feel like curling up into a ball and burying your head, remember to rid yourself of shame, you have to take care of yourself and stop worrying about the image that you’ve created. You are not responsible for the image others have created of you in their minds, but you are responsible for getting out of your own way.