Here are the 5 rules by which you should live your life:
- You must not have anything different or wrong with you
- If you do, you really have to get over it as quickly as you can, you’ll have to fix it
- If you can’t fix it, you should just pretend that you have, that it’s really not an issue anymore
- If you can’t even pretend to have fixed it, you should just not show up because it’s just so painful for others to see you in your current condition
- If you are going to insist on the right to show up, you should have the decency to be ashamed
Ok, that’s obviously not how you should live (I hope you caught the comedic undertone, but it’s a serious message nonetheless).
Does that sound familiar to you, though? (I know it does to me)
If so, it means you’ve likely built up a lot of toxic shame in the course of your life. It’s toxic because it undermines your self-worth and joy. You’ll probably end up isolating yourself and it’ll make you prone to depression and addiction.
Where does the shame come from? Maybe it’s your looks – something about your face or your body you hate and obsess over. Your height, your weight. Maybe you have a nervous tick, or you think you’re too uninteresting, too quiet or too loud. It could be other things, too. Maybe it’s just something you’ve internalized from childhood trauma, maybe you’ve been bullied. Maybe it’s a combination of several things. In any case: That toxic shame will ruin your life if you give it too much room.
By the way, I didn’t come up with these rules – I picked them up from a podcast with author Anne Lamott (which was great by the way, I listened to it twice).
I could relate to what she said – and her coping mechanisms which I’ve used as well: Trying to cover up that toxic shame by being charming, successful and agreeable.
What’s the solution, then? I’m afraid there’s no quick fix.
It’s a process of learning to let go of the (wrong) base assumption which is that something is inherently wrong with us.
We’ll have to start insinsting on our right to show up as is – with all our quirks and flaws. We’ll have to make the choice to not let shame win. Instead of thinking “I hope they don’t notice what I’m ashamed of”, we’ll have to start saying “Here I am! If that’s gonna be a problem for you – you’re gonna have to leave. Not everyone’s gonna like me, and that’s ok.”
If you’re on this journey as well: Good luck, I love you, I believe in you!
😴 What might help you find calm
Intentional ASMR Picks:
- ASMR Bakery making excellent closeup trigger ASMR – with wax on her fingertips! I think you’ll like it too!
- I just love Latte’s personal attention roleplays – here’s her recent one with sleep prep beauty treatments
- Those invisible trigger videos are fascinating but really hard to make, and Gibi made a version that’s excellent!
- FredsVoice giving you a face tattoo – I wouldn’t want to get one myself but the sounds are great. Oh, and now that I think of it, EphemeralRift made a similar video two weeks ago
Unintentional ASMR Picks:
- I enjoyed this quiet Asian guy with the ominous channel name qdc748a building a model airplane (there are many other gread videos on his channel)
- How about some cooking ASMR? Here’s someone cooking outside in the cold, preparing a glazed bacon sandwich which looks awesome!
- Finally, I enjoyed this soft spoken Classic yacht tour very much (even though I could never afford one)