Shame, it is a formidable opponent. It is a persistent shadow. Shame can color the brightest day bleak. It is a tenacious critic.
Shame finds a vulnerable mind and takes low blows. Sometimes shame sucker punches me with memories I want to let go of. It can access all my missteps (the sum total of my wrong words or acts) from my past and make them feel current and oppressive.
Shame is a deceiver. It cons me into carrying burdens no one has assigned to me. It gives the past undue control over my self-esteem right now. It shackles me to my blunders so my heart keeps dragging them along.
Shame uses my history to devalue my future. It presumes to tell me that no remedy exists for the missteps and mistakes in my past. It expands the hold of my regrets. It makes every victory fleeting and every slip last.
Shame gives our every error longevity in our mind’s eye. It suggests our regrets should be immortalized.
Shame can be sly—approaching under the guise of a trip down memory lane and then morphing into a montage of mistakes. It hijacks my mind and my emotions—keeping my thoughts focused on the negatives and my feelings handcuffed to them.
Shame stands in opposition to love—especially the ability to love oneself. It whispers lies like, “You’re not good enough;” and “You’re worse than everyone else.”
Silencing shame means leaving the past behind while only taking the lessons forward—not any self-inflicted punishments I perceive I deserve. It is learning without languishing. It is growing without wallowing.
Shame is a captor that must be escaped. So long as it clouds our vision, our self-perception will be tainted. We will be unable to see ourselves in a good and honest light. Shame must be silenced so we can love ourselves well and get on with life.
You can read more of Aabye’s work here.