Don’t Be Ashamed Of Your Story;
It Will Inspire Others.
Romans 1:16 (ESV)
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Stop Caring! Stop Feeling Embarrassed! Stop Feeling Shame & Ashamed! Live UnAshamed!
28.01.17: I thought I would dive deeper into “don’t be ashamed of your story,“ because it’s easy to tell people not to be embarrassed or ashamed of their past when you get to the other side of feeling ashamed but living it day by day is difficult.
In the past I spent a long time feeling embarrassed and ashamed about every little thing that I had done to the point where I felt fear about everyday situations. This feeling built up within me and it fed off other emotions that were making a home in my life. Because I didn’t get to the root of the embarrassment I would get into more situations that were even more embarrassing than the one before. And the cycle just continued in my life.
I have been around people who lived fearlessly and people who were exactly like me. They allowed fear to dictate their actions and this then led to more pain and unneeded emotions. In this post I will be sharing some of the ways I overcame feeling guilt and shame over things that were in my past.
Feeling unashamed is complex and affects so many people, I will be addressing feeling unashamed from a perspective of doing something stupid, not causing any harm to anyone.
28.01.17: My story of being unashamed started before I accepted Christ into my life but it is a continued journey and there probably are “shameful” things in my life that are waiting around the corner that I haven’t quite conquered yet. But this post is about what has happened not what is to come, so let’s dive into it.
You need / have to let go of the embarrassment before you truly let go of the shame that comes with your story.
When I started to feel free of embarrassment I had to get to the point of “realising stuff” shout out to Kylie Jenner. I realised that my past mistakes; decisions, stupidity led me to behaving like an absolute psycho. I would spend a lot of time worrying about bumping into people who I had embarrassed myself in front of instead of worrying about how not to make the same mistake. I feared what would happen if I ran into someone; how they would react towards me, if they would bring up my behaviour or use it against me. Yes, that is a crazy thought process but this is the current society that we live in, everyone wants to get their own back regardless of what led the offender down the road they went down. I was one of those people! The funny thing is I probably only ever ran into people a few times and nothing happened I didn’t spontaneously combust. No one laughed or even looked at me.
A contributing factor to me letting go of embarrassment was realising that I had nothing to fear. I realised that I was so afraid of what ifs that were not going to come to fruition because I hadn’t done anything truly horrendous, I had slipped up and made a mistake that painted me in a not so pleasant light and that was it. This fear was so crippling and I didn’t get to enjoy some of the things that were happening in my life, embarrassment took away a lot of important things in my life because I allowed it to.
21.02.17; I can remember watching a YouTuber years ago, she had a series called Self Love Saturday (playlist of all her SL videos, thank me later.) In the videos she (Andrea) would talk through ways that she was bringing self-love and acceptance into her life and this helped me so much because I began to slowly learn how to love myself and not feel embarrassed about who I was or what I did. Her videos made me realise that a lot of my embarrassment and fears were extremely self-centred and they were small in relation to what was and still is going on in the world.
Self Love Saturdays taught me that I was the one who had put myself in embarrassing situations and I had to deal with the consequences. It taught me that I was holding onto things that were not in my life. I was treating myself as if my behaviour was a part of who I was not a stumbling block on the road to finding who I really am. It made me realise that I was a harsher critic to my behaviour than anyone ever could be.
S.L.S. taught me that my future was far more important than my past. The mistakes I had made in the past were just that, In The Past. I could choose to leave them there or bring them along into my future, I had spent so long carrying them into my future by thinking and worrying about them and by speaking negatively about myself.
I genuinely don’t know the final thing that stopped me from being embarrassed because after years of battling this emotion I woke up one day and no longer felt like I was in chains.
Now that I’m reflecting on when I started to feel like embarrassment was not a part of my life anymore I realise that I was spending too much time in my thoughts. I would spend time feeling embarrassed but I didn’t have anyone who I could turn to for help with this issue so I would put it out of the forefront of my mind and continue to make the same mistakes. At the time I actually had friends in my life who treated me like they were embarrassed by me and this led me to feeling even more embarrassed and ashamed of my misguided behaviour. I didn’t have people who cared enough about me to not allow me to continue this cycle of self hate which eventually led to shameful behaviour and embarrassment.
I didn’t have good people around me who were holding me accountable. I realise now the importance of having friends who will hold you accountable.
21.02.17; As I sit here re-reading some of the words in this post I am completely in amazement at how easy it is to fall back into feeling ashamed and embarrassed by my past. I had reached a point where I no longer worried or cared about what people had to say about me or my past. BUT this morning I realised that part of the reason why I have been in a funk was because I am still holding onto some of the shame and embarrasment that I had let go of a long time ago. I have allowed some of these fears to creep back and stop me from doing things that I enjoy and am passionate about because I fear the people who will come to attack me more than I am willing to embrace the good things that are to come.
A thought came into my mind earlier today about something that I had done over 5 years ago but it was fresh in my mind as though it only happened a week ago. And after this thought I started to tell myself that I didn’t deserve anything good; my dreams, hearts desires and passions will never be fulfilled because I have done so many horrible things that have caused anger and bad emotions in people’s lives and my name has been associated with negative behaviour that doesn’t reflect a godly woman at all.
What I realise about the thoughts I had is that they are simply there to make me feel bad and to stop me from moving forward into the next chapter of my life. They are simply there to stop me from viewing my life in a positive way. The funk that I am in is in relation to my future and these thoughts were there to reinforce my fears about actually living the life that I believe God wants me to live.
I can remember years ago when I started to look at my life in terms of what interested me and what I wanted to achieve from it and I thought about being in the public eye but my sinful ways made me think that I would never actually achieve that because people who had done what I did could not live a life in the public eye. I thought about how the media would react to some of the things that I have been involved in and I realised that there are people out there who dislike / hate me enough to sell real or fake stories about me.
Now that I am no longer living in that specific sinful way some of my fears about how I will be received if I am on a public platform are still there because I realise that God wants to use my life and story in a positive and maybe public way. This makes me think that I am not fully trusting God and I want to control everything about my past so that it can’t hurt me in the future. BUT I know that if God leads me somewhere then I have absolutely nothing to worry about. He will protect me when people come to attack me with truth or lies.
What I need to do right now is let go of the shame and focus on God.
If someone comes back into your life to try and embarrass you or shame you about your past now that you are living your new life, the best way to deal with this is to be open and honest about your past, the only way someone can hurt you is if you allow them to.
Good “Don’t Be Ashamed Of Your Story” reads;
Your Story Matters by Jade Nadine Tendo.
Good “Don’t Be Ashamed Of Your Story” Books;
Unashamed by Cristine Caine.
Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life by Sarah Jakes (Roberts)