Being Brave with Shame

Whether you’re an astrology hoe, religious fanatic, or a firm believer in your own disbelief, you have faults. It’s like the universe, natural order, and/or god is like Oprah when it comes to handing out ugly personality traits: you get an issue! And you get an issue, and YOU get an issue.

Now, there might be a little voice inside you that’s nervously chuckling because you know it’s true, but that voice does not have to be scared or judging. In her Ted Talk, Brené Brown defines courage as “telling the story of who you are, with your whole heart.”

This story - your story - cannot be full and true when it only includes the pretty pieces of your person; you are your kindness, joy and humor, but you are also your shame. The things you’ve done, the things that have been done to you, the character flaws that you think make you unloveable: they are part of you. Your shameful ugliness is just as important, beautiful, and worthy of acceptance as the easy-to-love bits. 

If you choke down your shame, and hide it from those who (genuinely) want to love you, they won’t ever know the true you. You will never feel known, seen, or fully accepted if you do not allow people the chance to accept every color in your unique rainbow of personhood. 

So be unapologetically yourself, embrace your ugly traits and seek healing. Choose trustworthy people to share your shame with, and forgive those who fail; forgive yourself for trusting the wrong people at times, and move forward. Re-analyze, and try again.

Accepting yourself is hard, and inviting others to do it is all the more difficult. It is worth it. You deserve it. You are more than perfection, and you are beautiful.