I find it awfully hard to give myself a break. I don’t know where that attitude comes from.
“I can’t. I shouldn’t. It’s my fault.” These self-abasing and self-defeating thoughts are expressions of shame. Because repeated thoughts turn into beliefs and long-held beliefs turn into actions, thoughts rooted in shame can lead to tragedy.
People who live in shame come to believe that it is not okay to make a mistake. They imagine they should know what to do without having to learn it. They think their wrong judgments mean they themselves are wrong.
But it is human to make mistakes. If we acknowledge we are human, we are defining ourselves as people who always have something to learn (Thomas Edison failed to perfect the light bulb until his ten-thousandth try). We are saying we have to keep going if our plans don’t work out right away (Walt Disney went bankrupt seven times before he met with success).
“Thou shalt not be human” is the command of shame. What rubbish! How can we be anything else? Why would we want to be?
I pray I will live comfortably with human limitations. I will try to accept from myself what I accept from others.
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation