I know right? Not your typical day to day statement, but we all feel it more than we ever get to voice it. Take it from a girl who feels ashamed more often than not. “Why does she feel ashamed?” you wonder. The reasons are vast, some of which you will deduce as the paragraphs unfold (does a story unfold or a paragraph unfolds? I can’t quite remember) others I will most definitely be taking to my grave, while making sure I have no Alison from Pretty Little Liars dangling them over my head.

Feeling ashamed is safe to say one of the most common or prominent feelings today. Social media platforms once again show us how tremendously ashamed we should be for not meeting up with the standard its dominant users and trend setters show. But for this article, social media platforms are not at fault.

Can you bring to mind some of the worst choices you made as a teenager? or even as a young adult? What about the ones you make now as an adult? the wrong outfit, misunderstanding a word that is normally so simple and known by everyone else? dating the wrong person? farting in public? Lavishing that money your parents trusted you would use to pay your fees? How do you feel about them? I’m pretty sure you shrugged, then felt like digging a hole and burying yourself 6feet beneath the ground. That is how I feel when I think of them.

We often feel ashamed, and much too easily if I may add. We feel ashamed before we even notice shame was what we felt. So instead of a solution, I’ll be making a proposal. Rather than feeling ashamed, why don’t you settle for feeling embarrassed.

What is the difference between the two? Embarrassment is fleeting, after a while it becomes funny and a tale you can tell at drinking parties. It’s something you learned from or had a remarkable experience doing. But it only remains that, a memory you control and own. It does not affect your essence and feeling of self-worth.

Shame on the other hand, much like fear paralysis you. When you think back on the action, you feel you chest swell and your breathing laboured. You feel like hiding your face and staying in a dark room for days on end if it’s left to you. On some days, you cry.

When you feel ashamed, you reduce your whole existence and self-worth to how you just faltered or slipped. When you are ashamed, you never want to do something you’re not sure of ever again, anything with variables beyond your control are not an option. When you are ashamed, you slowly loose your voice and opinion. You trade them for complacency and never stop second guessing yourself but never do anything concrete to clarify your thoughts.

So how about you pick embarrassment. At least with embarrassment, when you think of how ignorant your thoughts and ideals were a month ago, you don’t want to hide and die, you just regret a little and wish you had known better sooner. With embarrassment you don’t want to rip your heart out and feed on it then lay breathless. You might however want to fall and literally break a leg if it could pull you out of an embarrassing situation.

The relationship you have with yourself is a rather long and intimate one, so you can’t choose to punish yourself every time you don’t have stuff figured out. You can’t paralyse that bright and beautiful person bursting out with ideas and adventures to share with the world. Actually, I take that back. You can do all of that, but you shouldn’t. You have so much more to share with the globe, so you shouldn’t choke that bright person to silence and eventual death.

Change they say is the only constant thing in life, so rather than being ashamed each time you change, pick embarrassment. Mind you I’m not some guru with all the answers, but this much I can say, cut yourself some slack and let it go.

Instead of saying ,”I am ashamed”, pick “that was embarrassing”,

because the situation was the issue, not your identity or person. While we are at it, be mindful of how you complement “I am” when talking about yourself. Release only good energy.

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2 years ago

Thanks so much for this. We often feel ashamed of the things we just can’t change or control.