Why do we live with such fear, guilt, and shame. I think this is something everyone must deal with yet we always strive to keep it hidden. There are times this burden is so heavy I feel I may be crushed under the weight of it. As an academic I understand life through questions and research, I have spent years reading research to try to understand for myself and those in my life. As a mathematician, I was trained initially in logic knowing that there is proof in the patterns; this is how I process looking for the methodical frameworks in life and unfortunately emotions lack rationality. I carry the guilt that my children have experienced such pain and the shame they are a product of a broken home; that is something that I may never lay down because I have so much fear for their future. I know the logical arguments, you tried all you could, there are over 50% of children that are products of divorce, being happy will help them become happy adults. I am not even sure I deserve the last for I have a guilt that is overwhelming when I feel true happiness. There have been fleeting moments when I find myself standing in the glory of a joyous moment but then there are times I find that guilt creeping in and that little voice reminding me I am not worthy of these things. I am unsure I am even lovable which the saboteur often reminds me of as well. Those are parts of myself that have existed as long as I can remember and although I have worked to avoid them and at times battle them, I am not unsure if they will ever go or even if I will understand their purpose.
I do know that shame, guilt and fear can also develop into strong connection that works to eliminate those demons. Holding the err of your ways with a sincere apology can lighten the burden. Although this takes great courage and introspection to identify, it also takes a person who will stand squarely with you in your vulnerability, listening without judgement and accepting with respect and compassion. It is difficult to find those people in life for it is much easier for someone to find weakness in your vulnerability than to acknowledge the strength it took to stand before you; some seek power in encouraging your shame to grow. It is in those moments when we know the people who see our strength, respect our struggle and know our truth are the ones we will share a journey with.
We are all imperfect in our design, with our struggles and flaws, but the acknowledgement of our imperfections make us perfect helps us grow. We are who we were meant to be in that moment and although we may never understand the reason or rational we must hold to fast to that fact. As the phoenix rose from its own destruction stronger, if we learn how to face our shame and find motivation in our fear and strength in our pain we too can become empowered
“Maybe there’s more we all could have done, but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time.” ― Veronica Roth