Have you ever refinished a piece of furniture or remodeled a house? Sometimes we paint right over the layers of paint, but often, it is necessary to strip off the old layers, down to the bare wood.

It is interesting to see the different color choices over the years and even to wonder about the people who thought those colors were fashionable.

Similarly, shame becomes painted over us, until there are so many layers; we can feel the weight of each one.

It occurs in a variety of situations. Your childhood may have been chaotic and unhealthy situations. Maybe your parents told you repeatedly that they were ashamed of you. Perhaps a family member made a poor decision that reflected on you. Each time, another coat of shame added to who you have become.

Shame grabs ahold of us because of choices we have made or due to something another person did to us. It can even attach itself to us because of the actions of a family member, having nothing to do with us.

No matter how it became a part of your story, it is time to shed the shame like a snake leaves its skin behind. Shame has no place in the life of a woman or man of courage. It is holding you back from being your best.

These 3 Keys will assist you in shedding your shame:

1. Remember that everybody has a story. Often, we hang on to shame because we feel as if we don’t measure up to others. So, we beat ourselves up over and over. The truth is that you have no idea the road each person has walked. Be careful not to isolate yourself or consider yourself less than other people. Their story is not what you think it is anyway.

2. Keep Perspective. As the mom of an addict, I had plenty of shame. It wasn’t hard for me to imagine what people thought of me because I had plenty to say about moms of addicts before I became one. Gaining and maintaining perspective on the situation was crucial. While I had blamed myself for years, I finally let go and staked my claim – I was a good mom. Find some perspective on the situation that has caused you so much shame.

3. Use the “F” word. I love the “F” word, but it’s not the one you might be thinking. That other “F” word is easier to use than the one I am referring to – forgiveness. Of the three keys, this is the biggie, but once you learn to do this, it will be an essential strategy for getting rid of shame, and so much more.

Life is too short to be covered by the burden of shame. You are not perfect, just like everybody else. Remember that everybody has a story. Find a perspective on your situation. Start using the “F” word.

Your Story Matters…Live it, Courageously.

Your Story. Your Voice. Your Community

Valerie Silveira  | Trauma Disruptor & Legacy Leader™ is an award-winning author of multiple books, workbooks, and journals to guide people worldwide through the path to freedom. Valerie is known as a woman of unwavering strength who, through the trauma and lessons of her daughter’s addiction and her senseless murder, along with her decades of leadership, empowers others to stand up and live courageously. Her books, workbooks, journals, and 9 Weapons of Hope™ provide hope and healing for life’s many challenges. For information on Valerie’s courses, books, and speaking programs, visit ValerieSilveira.com.

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