A recent experience I had around this really crystallised, for me, the importance of self-care and accepting the consequences of the things we do. But also how important it is to process and grow from those mistakes so we can modify the way we interact with others in the future.
As the author of the first article states:
“…the relationship that I have with myself can and will change, evolve, grow, heal and even deteriorate at times as the circumstances in my life shift. That’s ok. That’s what it means to be human, alive, not static.
Self-love is not an achievement. It’s a practice. A tedious and difficult practice. It’s easy to love yourself when you’re coasting, when you’re not in emotional pain, when you’re not fucking up.
It’s when we fuck up, when we’re distressed, when we experience scarcity, when things hurt so much its damn near impossible to breathe, that it is most important to have a practice of self-love, of self-compassion, of nurture, of forgiveness”.
What I connected with most though, is something the second author spoke about:
“If I’m struggling to overcome feelings of guilt or self-loathing because I fucked up as an ally, I don’t go to the person I hurt and tell them how badly I’m feeling. Nor do I go to their friends, or, if we have them, mutual friends. Instead, I seek a neutral party to listen to my feelings and help me sort out and work through them. That way, I don’t have to bottle up how I’m feeling, but I also don’t make my feelings of guilt central to the situation.
…The more we listen and reflect on our actions and how they affect others, the more educated and mindful we can become in our interactions with one another”
Shame and guilt around who we feel we are and our actions and behaviours, can be crippling emotions but it’s also important to recognise the differences between them: When we experience guilt, we blame our behaviour (our ‘wrong-doing’) but when we experience shame, we blame our character and our whole sense of self (our ‘wrong-being’).
Being aware of the difference and moving through how these emotions impact us when we do things we are disappointed with ourselves in, are key to personal growth and a healthy sense of self. We can’t be perfect all the time and we will inevitably still make mistakes and hurt others. It’s what we do about it that really counts.
Take a read, the authors of each of these offer important knowledge worth sharing…