While doing routine paperwork, I decided to turn on my TED Talks app and let it play in the background. I chose a talk about guilt vs. shame by a lady named Brene Brown. Expecting it to be just another cliché motivational speech, I figured I would tune out by the second minute. Holy cow! Talk about surprising me...I couldn't focus on my paperwork because I was glued to her every word. Growing up in an abusive home, guilt has haunted me my whole life...or so I thought. Today, I realized it wasn't guilt, but shame that has followed me. Guilt is based on what WE do. Shame is based on what we believe about ourselves. She mentioned that shame is often the root of emotional issues, such as depression, anger and eating disorders. This Kentucky gal knows enough about horse racing terms to know a trifecta when she hears it. Brown described me perfectly.
Since my Daddy died when I was eleven, I never thought I was good enough. I never believed I was beautiful. I strived for perfection, not realizing the pursuit of perfection had made me numb to life. I never allowed myself to be vulnerable because when I was, my mother made me feel like I was unworthy of love or belonging. Shame controlled me...until now.
Normally, I would make a joke or beat myself up about how I failed on my goals for the day. I didn't track my calories. I didn't exercise, due to storms and foot pain. I didn't drink any water. On paper, I failed. But for the first time in years, I realize I didn't fail. I had a breakthrough. Perfectionism is a prison and I have finally broken free. Tomorrow is a new day and I get the opportunity to do what I can.