In my daily ritual of procrastination, I found myself watching the videos from my subscribed channels on YouTube, which included Misako Envela’s latest video about shame. After watching it, I fell into a moment of introspection as she left me with questions about the nature of shame and, more importantly, the things that I am ashamed about. So I decided to start composing a list:
What do I feel shame about?
I know, it’s a loaded question, and to be frank, a few different things came to mind. But the most important one was this:
The fact that I will spend the rest of my life living with the consequences of someone else’s actions and decisions against me.
It’s a terrifying thought but it’s the main thought that is consuming me. I think what I feel most shame about is the fact that it’s out of my control. Who I am has changed because of something someone else did to me.
This idea was a revelation to me. Even though I understand that I’m angry about this, I never realised I was also shameful about it too.
What have I learned from this?
What Misako said in her video about living with shame ‘as if it’s a part of our DNA’ really hit me. Now, I try to be an emotionally healthy person and yet I’ve never questioned my relationship with shame until now. It went completely unregistered in my mind until I heard someone probing that openly. I think it’s important for my mental health that I don’t ignore it — whether it was voluntary or not.
The truth is, we all feel shame in some way or another, we just rarely notice it because it’s so deeply embedded in who we are that we almost view it as natural. However, it’s important for us to identify our emotions as this brings us one step closer to understanding and accepting ourselves.
I hope that this experience will help me move forward to understand my shame and not run away from it. And maybe, it will help you too.