How not to get stuck in shame and self-blame

Ever done or said something to someone that afterwards filled you with such shame that you wish you could turn back the clock and relive that moment – but this time you would do the right thing?

I’ve had quite a few of those moments – and remembering each one makes me cringe.

How could I have been so thoughtless, careless, callous?

Why didn’t I think before I spoke?

Why didn’t I just swallow my frustration and let the moment pass – why oh why did I have to write about it?

The danger in letting self-blame go unchecked is that it becomes a downward spiral.

Instead of showing us how to do better, it just reminds us how unworthy, useless, and unlovely we are. It fills us with anxiety, depletes our self-worth, and robs us of the creative energy we need to break out and be a different kind of person.

This morning, a realization struck me.

Instead of wasting energy and emotion on feeling ashamed and blaming myself for something that has already happened and that I cannot change, why not use this opportunity to STACK ON THE GOOD.

Here’s how it works –

  • Find something you can do that is realistically achievable and that will make you feel better for doing it. Something that requires your time and commitment, and that benefits someone else. It can be as small and simple as saying hello to a stranger, encouraging someone who is going through a challenging time, or telling someone how much you admire and appreciate them.
  • Do it.
  • Then find another thing like it that you can do.
  • Do it.
  • Repeat as needed.

Each time you do that good thing, you add to your feelings of self-worth, self-respect, contribution to the greater good etc, until you feel that you have more than tipped the balance and you are no longer in a state of spiritual deficit.

You have now put sufficient distance between yourself and that thing that triggered the self-blame and shame.

That thing is HISTORY.

This is how you Stack On The Good, cancel out shame and self-blame, and move on with life.

Do this as often as you need it.

And remember: you and I aren’t perfect, but God loves us anyway. If we’re good enough for Him, we’re good enough.