Ain’t nobody got time to be shrouded in shame. Shame feels yucky. It’s that feeling of wanting to melt into the couch. It makes us want to shrivel up and hide. It makes us feel small.
Shame can hold us back from having a healthy relationship with ourselves, others, and even with God.
As women, we can be extra susceptible to unhealthy cycles of shame. With all of the pressure to be perfect, look perfect, post on Instagram regularly, and live the perfect life, we can find ourselves feeling overwhelmed when we fall short.
The truth is, we will never be perfect. God doesn’t ask us to be.
He asks us to love, follow and serve him wholeheartedly, and he is faithful to fill in the cracks where we lack. When we fall short, he is gracious to forgive us when we confess our sins (our shortcomings of his standard).
Because of the ocean of grace we receive from God, we can extend the same grace to ourselves and others.
Here are 10 things you should stop shaming yourself for ASAP.
Eating when you feel hungry.
We all need to eat. Eating is a natural, good thing. It helps sustain our bodies and provides the nutrients we need to function on any given day. However, body image issues, societal pressure, and diet culture can sometimes cause us to feel shame around eating when they need to.
It may come in the form of a little voice that says, You’re so fat. Why are you eating that?, or You suck. You couldn’t even say no to that second portion.
These thoughts aren’t healthy. The next time they slip into your mind, remind yourself that eating when you’re hungry isn’t something to be ashamed about. Pursue a healthy relationship with food so you can enjoy it, take care of your body, and stop shaming yourself.
Saying no when you need to.
There are times in life when you need to say no. Because our time is limited, we have to prioritize the resources we’re given – time, energy and capacity.
Learning how to say no takes practice. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to decline an invitation, say no to a project at work, or set a boundary about something you aren’t willing to do, do so in confidence.
No is a complete sentence. Say it with love. Then, keep it moving.
Setting healthy boundaries with friends and family.
Boundaries are designed to help us operate within the most productive, healthy space for our relationships. They help us manage our time, energy and resources so we can show up as our best selves.
Sometimes, we have to say no to friends and family members. We may need to let them know we aren’t interested in going somewhere, doing something, or talking about something that isn’t healthy for us.
Though people may not always understand, be true to yourself and your convictions by setting healthy boundaries when you need to. Ain’t no shame in that.
Struggling to find the motivation to exercise.
The motivation to exercise can be like a yo-yo. Some days it’s up, and other days it’s down. On the down days, it’s easy to beat ourselves up for not quite feeling up for the “pump.”
To stop shaming yourself, try speaking lovingly to yourself and reminding yourself of your goals. When you need an extra pick-me-up, try one of these techniques to motivate yourself to workout.
Experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression.
We all feel anxious sometimes. And, we all experience feelings of depression at times. That’s a part of being human. It doesn’t make you weak, crazy, or wrong. It simply makes you a normal human being living in the 21st century. The next time you feel depressed or anxious, run to God. Cast your cares on him and allow his Holy Spirit to comfort you. Know that you won’t find shame in his arms. Rest there.
Not being perfect.
Hannah Montana was preaching when she sang the song “Nobody’s Perfect.” It’s cliché, but true. The next time something happens that reminds you of your imperfection, don’t fall into a cycle of shame. God knows you’re not perfect, and he loves you relentlessly anyway. Keep your eyes on his perfection, and relieve yourself of the pressure to be a perfect woman.
Not knowing exactly what you want to do with your life.
Life is complex. It changes. We change, and sometimes, we may find ourselves facing the realization that we don’t exactly know what we want to do with our lives. This is totally normal. After all, we were never designed to figure it all out on our own, anyway.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is do your best with what you have until you get further instructions from God. Stop shaming yourself for what you don’t know. Instead, pray and seek his face. He always gives us enough information to take action, and he wants us to trust him to lead the story of our lives.
Having less money than you’d like in the bank account.
You know that moment when you get a notification that your bank account is overdrafted? I know the moment well as it’s happened more than a few times in my life. It happens. But, your financial situation isn’t something to be ashamed of.
Whether you’re where you are because of a series of poor decisions, or are just struggling to build a strong financial foundation, you won’t be where you are forever. Keep pushing and keep building. Don’t feel ashamed if you need to decline an invitation to stick to your budget.
Enjoying a “treat.”
Sometimes, you need to #treatyourself, right? We all have different ways of treating ourselves. Whether you treat yourself with a sweet cupcake, a long bubble bath, or the deluxe manicure, stop shaming yourself for doing something nice for yourself. Make sure your treat doesn’t negatively harm your body or your finances. Then, go for it!
Needing some time alone.
Needing time alone is totally normal. Whether you’re a mom, are single, are married, are a student, are retired, or are anything in between, alone time is crucial to keep you emotionally, spiritually and mentally grounded.
People need varying degrees of alone time, as some people (shout out to my introverts out there!) may crave more time than others. But, it’s always all good. The next time you want to spend some time alone, carve out the time and enjoy!
Is there anything you’re feeling shame about these days that you want to release? Drop a comment and let us know!