When You’re the Bad Guy

Head in Hands

So you’re the bad guy.

It happens. Whether the happenings were two years or two months ago, the sting of knowing that you were the one who did the dirty thing, really really sucks.

Now, unless you are a sociopath, you can probably think of a time when you hurt someone else, intentionally or not. And perhaps because coping with this fact is difficult, your coping strategies may look more like vices than honest to goodness ways of dealing. I’ve been there.

In this short piece today, I want to encourage you.

Do you find yourself with vices that help keep your guilt at bay? Smoking too much? Drinking more than usual? Binging late at night? Tolerating negative self-talk? I’ve been there too.

Now, if you’ve made it this far into the post, you might be thinking, “this isn’t my problem”. That. Is. Awesome. But, do you know anyone who it may be true for? If yes, they may be under the influence of the shame!!!

Shame has a funny way of overshadowing the healthier reaction of guilt. As described by Dr. Brene Brown, guilt is voice that says, “I made a mistake”, while shame is the voice that says, “I am a mistake.”

Being mentored by shame is a scary place to be. When we feel like we are a mistake or that we are inherently bad, we run the risk of missing the lessons that life is trying to teach us. To boot, feelings of shame are the birthplace of addiction, aggression, and feeling stuck (just to name a few).

Luckily, there is still our dear friend, guilt.

Guilt tells us that we’ve made a mistake. When we know that we’ve made a mistake, it’s easier to change the behavior, apologize and move on.

There is much more to read on this subject and if you haven’t heard of Dr. Brene Brown or her work, I encourage you to look her up and read one of her books, especially Daring Greatly, or check out one of her Ted talks (ted.com).

Reasons for making the mistakes aside, there’s no use in letting your mistakes become a part of your identity. You are worth so much more than that.

Until next time…

With lots of love,

Jenn

 

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