Shame spirals are real. They happen when you feel you have failed. When you’ve done something and you find yourself saying, “I’m not good enough.” It then spirals into something like this:
I am not talented enough.
I am not smart enough.
I am not organized enough.
I am not thin enough.
I am not enough.
Stop the shame spiral!
I was visiting with an old friend who is both a successful writer and landscaper. (I share he’s a landscaper because I think his analogy fits him perfectly. Keep reading. You’ll figure it out.)
I was in a shame spiral – feeling unworthy. And he shared this gem:
“I picture roses and thorns. For every thorny thought, I force myself to find the positive thought, to find the rose.”
Wow. Pretty simple but very poignant.
Often times, when we are spiraling down, we just keep pricking ourselves with the thorns. I can feel I have failed at something one day and then I manage to remember every failure I have encountered since I was ten years old. It goes something like this:
“Darn it, I missed my dentist appointment. I am a loser. There is a Lego tsunami in the living room and the breakfast dishes aren’t done. I didn’t exercise this morning…”
The spiral continues until I end here:
“Remember when I spelled the word ‘envelope’ wrong in the 5th grade spelling bee and lost the competition to Bennett, the annoying boy who sat behind me?
Today, I do roses & thorns.
“The breakfast dishes aren’t done because I was busy building the Lego zoo to house our new dinosaur (that retails at $1.99 but we spent $40 at Chuck E. Cheese to win). Rose!
Chris made breakfast and I didn’t have to do it. Rose!
I can get my exercise by cleaning up the Legos. Rose?”
(Okay, sometimes you have to stretch to see the rose but you get my point.)
Stop focusing on the thorns that hurt you today and find the rose. Then stop and really see it. Embrace it. Enjoy it.
Wishing you a bouquet of roses!
~ Jana, MA, CHWC
Community Hospital Blog Contributor