So, as promised, the continuation of my last post on some of the things you don't need to waste another minute - or second!) of your time feel ashamed about...(but might!)..
The Person you used to be.
If you like where you are now or who you are today – there’s no need to be ashamed of the journey that brought you there. In an age where we document so much of our lives, the past isn’t always so easy to forget and this can be said of phases, or situations, where maybe we didn’t act or behave in a way we’re proud of. If anyone reading this has gone through a big life event which resulted in some level of self-reflection (big life events tend to do this!), I feel you may get this one! Those things can change us on a deeper level and a real part of that growth is looking back at yourself and having some real moments of ‘oh god was I really like that?!’. You have to remember that being there led to here, so feeling ashamed is neglecting an important piece of your own puzzle.
On a more trivial level, I know that Facebook Timehop can make me cringe my eyeballs out at some of my old Facebook posts (and sometimes even at more recent ones…!), but that was who I was back then, and at the risk of sounding like an annoying hippy person; (sorry not sorry..) you’re always learning new stuff about life, yourself and the world you live in. So remember that – and try not to be ashamed of your past self, you didn’t know then what you know now; (No Sophie, being a drama queen does not make a situation more fun or interesting, watching re-runs of House is not an effective revision strategy and if you ignore your overdraft, it will not just magically disappear...!) By my own admittance, I used to be a little on the dramatic side and I always wince slightly when I look back at younger me - I like to think I’ve mellowed since but oh god.
The Fact You’re not Over it yet.
Whatever your ‘it’ is. There are (annoyingly) no timelines for emotional recovery from anything; failure, heartbreak, loss, betrayal, physical injury. It’s a frustrating fact I’ve had my own battles with; "but why do I still even care?!'", but whatever happened to you or hurt you will heal in its own time. We all have things we carry that still get to us and some things may never fully heal with the feeling just getting watered down over time. There’s no need to beat yourself up about it. “You should be over it by now!” is one of the least empathetic phrases in the English language and saying this to someone who is struggling to move on is just a bit mean really. This includes saying it to yourself. If you’re not over it yet, you’re not over it – there’s no need to go heaping shame on yourself for that. We’re all carrying something.
Being Single – at any age.
Well it was only a matter of time before I mentioned this one..! In a world when, with the right Instagram filter and a witty remark you most likely just googled, you can line up a date for the next day with a swipe on an App, being single is starting to seem more and more like a baffling mystery to some; ‘what?! By why? Quick! Get yourself on Bumble/Tinder/Match.com’before all the good men run out!'. I think the ease at which you can find someone to share a bed with is causing us to lose recognition of the benefits of being single – simply because now no one has to be. If you’ve just come out of a big relationship, being single can be really scary – I get that – but that’s Phase 1. If you just go on an app and find a ‘replacement’ straight away – you never make it to Phase 2 – where all the fun starts! I’ll talk more at length about this in another post as I have SO MANY feelings around dating apps, but there really are some great things about flying solo which can often get overlooked. It doesnot mean you are in any way unloveable, defective or unwanted; you are not the last teddy bear on the shelf with one eye that nobody wanted to buy. I think love comes into your life when it’s supposed to and choosing to be single because you haven’t found your person yet is nothing to be ashamed of.
Saying exactly how you feel.
No shame here please! Saying how you feel is awesome, amazing, authentic, real, honest and The Road to Happiness and All The Good Things in Life. I have a lot of enthusiasm for Saying Exactly How You Feel. It is becoming a lost art and after training to become a therapist I can tell you from a place of experience and first-class-degreeness (yes I’m pulling out the big guns here..), that IT IS SO IMPORTANT; for emotional well-being, strong relationships, personal happiness, living a life that’s true to you and being happy. Being honest with yourself about how you feel firstly, and then articulating that, is the greatest skill you can ever learn. Yes, it may cause you trouble, and yes, you will likely sometimes express yourself in ways that may be awkward, inarticulate and have embarrassing moments of 'oh-my-god-why-did-I-say-that-I-should-have-just-kept-quiet?!!’ – but you will be free my friend - whatever the outcome. One of my favorite parts of ‘Love Actually’ is when Andrew Lincoln rocks up with recorded carol singers and a load of placards to declare his unrequited love for Kiera Knightley. It’s a little inappropriate and what not (I mean its his best mates wife here..) but after behaving like a douche-bag to her for so long in avoidance of his feelings - he’s just given up – and puts it all out there. I think it’s one of the most misunderstood parts of the film and I've read mixed reactions to it with some calling him a 'psycho' for this..extreme much. Yet there is no intent to steal her or win her over, thats not why he does it - its just for him - so he won’t have any regrets and can genuinely move on. It’s a little known fact I’d love more of the world to know, but when feelings are expressed, they change. When you tell someone how you feel, it’s an odd paradox, but you’re actually much more on your way to getting over them than if you had said nothing.
So, saying exactly how you feel is so incredibly important. You won’t carry around the regret of never telling someone how much they meant to you and wondering ‘what if’. Your closest friendships and relationships will remain intimate and genuine because you told the truth when something upset you and worked it out. If you don’t do this, you can allow a potential emotional gulf to grow between you. It’s not easy and its often terrifying, and no matter how much it ‘upsets the apple cart’, saying how you feel is something you should never ever be ashamed of. Its true courage and when you do this, you are building a life full of the people and things that are going to make you genuinely happy.
Neverbe ashamed of being exactly who you are. When you get past all that image crap, we’re all just as ridiculous as each other on the inside, so you really have no idea who may be really in need of your ‘youness’: