One thing I have learned over the years is that often times our problem is not so much other people or circumstances but ourselves. Not exactly an earthshattering revelation but one that I often conveinently forget. I was reminded this morning that our perspective and emotions about ourselves set the tone for how we deal with life and that it can keep us from creating the life we want.
The situation in my life that always seems to stymie me to paralysis is my finances. Now let me just say how ironic this is. It is ironic because I am an accountant by trade. I make my living essentially reconciling bank accounts, paying the company bills, etc. So this irony isn’t lost on me. It seems no matter what I do, things just don’t seem to get better, if anything they either get worse or just stay the same. It is something that can keep me up at night and make me a knot of nerves and adds to my stress level. Let me just say here as a woman in perimenopause, stress is the last thing I need.
Today as I was thinking about this in the shower (I get a lot of great ideas in the shower), I had one of those lightbulb moments. I finally made a connection that I guess should be obvious but was a real revelation for me. I realized that I am so ashamed of my financial situation it makes it difficult to even look at my finances with anything close to a rational perspective. When I looked up shame in on merriam-webster.com one of the definitions hit a chord with me. It said that shame is “a painful emotion caused by the consciousness of guilt…..” Wow! Knowing how damaging guilt can be, no wonder my money issues seem like a wall I just can’t seem to scale. I also realized part of letting go of the shame and this mindset of guilt is forgiving myself.
We all know forgiveness is the key to moving forward in our life and yet how often we find it easier to forgive others than we do ourselves. We hold ourselves to a higher standard than other people. I know I could easily forgive someone else messing up my finances but not so much forgive myself for the same thing. There is something about this insight that makes me sad in a way. Sad because I realize how harsh I have judged myself in this area of my life. Sad because I know I would never judge another person that way. So, now I begin the work of forgiving myself, not sure exactly what that will look like. However, I do believe knowledge is power or I should say, empowerment.
What about you? Is there an area in your life where shame is blocking you from healing and wholeness? Are you ready to forgive yourself? My prayer is that you are. Life is too short to live in shame.