What if I could live without shame? What if I could live without the shackles of other people’s opinions?
I’ve believed for so long that it’s humble to acknowledge my shortcomings. I would say it out loud before anyone else could. I’d beat you to the punch to avoid the blow. But now I have come ’round to simply wanting to be myself and have compassion for that.
At the root of bulimia (and so many other things, but I speak purely from my own experience for now) is a deep and intense shame. It is torture. And though I no longer engage in the behaviours, I have moments of crippling shame. I had one this morning at 5 am. The thought crossed my mind that I had had one too many glasses of wine last night. From there a snowball of ways that I am not good enough gathered up. I watched as thoughts dropped into my mind telling me how wrong I am….how bad. I watched as I believed some and dismissed others, but none of them made me feel good. None of them left me feeling loved.
Perhaps there is a fine line between enabling and being compassionate, but shame has not ever worked for me. It has left me only with a weight so heavy I thought I would break beneath it. But I didn’t. And I have found that with others, compassion changes everything. It helps people feel heard and seen and trusted. It empowers them to want to do better- to know that they can.
So what about being compassionate with me? I’ve done it here and there. But what about being as relentless with this brand of kindness with myself as I am with my partner, children and friends? What if the only voice inside my head was my own flecked with God’s?
I don’t make new year’s resolutions. I have always felt the new year begins in September anyway (Jewish in a past life, perhaps?). But I feel this call to be kinder to me- to listen to a voice within that knows what I need so completely and to eventually align with that voice altogether. From the inside out. Heart first. To love. To fill the well within so I never go without.