I’ve come to realize that my waves of shame may never go away. They can be related to nothing, and they can hit me out of nowhere. I can be walking down the street, enjoying the day, and BAM! get nearly knocked over with a sense of how wrong and unworthy and vile I am.
That may never go away. It may, but it may not, and that’s okay.
It’s okay because I know that that groundswell of shame is a lie. It’s a lie I’ve absorbed based on lies I was told and lies I made up to explain all that happened. But it’s a lie.
It’s okay because I’ve learned how to breathe through it. I’ve learned how to watch it happening to me, while it happens to me – like an impartial observer. I’ve learned to separate myself from it, even as it feels like not just a part of me but all of me.
I’ve learned that the shame swells up, and then it recedes. If I can wait it out – when I wait it out – it lessens.
I’ve learned to say to myself, “Oh, there it is. Damn it feels bad. It will go away. Just breathe.”
I check in on reality – I’m not vile; I am loved; I am lovable; at this very minute I’m not in danger; I’m not doing anything wrong; everything is okay – and then my heartbeat slows down, my breath becomes more steady, and the sun shines again.
It would be wonderful if I never had an inexplicable, out-of-nowhere wave of shame again. It would be wonderful if I never had a wave of shame at all. It would be wonderful, and it may or may not happen. And for today, I’m okay with that.
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