Here I am, making lunch in the kitchen and I get a flashback. A memory from when I was 12 came into my consciousness and I immediately felt shame.
SO MUCH SHAME.
I was at a Girl Guide Camp and I was making lunch. The girls on our site were helping out and I wanted to add mustard for some extra flavour. This one girl, came running over and was like “NO!! I hate mustard, please don’t add it, please please. I froze and was like, “This is how my Mom makes it at home, you can’t even taste it.” Her response, “Then why do you have to add it? Please don’t I hate it so much.” I was overcome by this weird space of the Do I, Don’t I dance.
I looked towards the other girls because I didn’t know how to formulate my desire to have it my way. I couldn’t process what to do in that moment. One girl said, “Add it”. That’s all that I needed; mustard in.
Now it may seem like a silly little memory, but what came up for me was the fact that I chose to not listen to someone’s request or find a work around. (Half with, half without?) .
I was cruel in my actions and intentions, and as an unrecovered food addict whose vice was her only way of processing feelings and emotions; that mustard took on quite the amount of power.
I knew what I was doing. I felt like I couldn’t stop myself and having someone ‘on my side’ made me feel like I was valid in my choice. I chose to deliberately hurt someone because my needs felt more important than hers. Classic bully technique.
Now I have done a ton of emotional work, yet it never ceases to amaze me when these memories come up just how crazy it is that I still feel the shame behind each one.
I can process what other’s have done to me with more ease, I look at it, make peace within myself, forgive and move on with my day. Though when I get flashbacks of the things I have done, I’m almost crippled by the pain and embarrassment of how I could have acted out in the ways that I have. It’s like I am living it again and feel this heaviness in my heart. I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that the ostrich life is the life for me.
I was 12 years old. This was 20 years ago, and yet, here I am, replaying it over like it was yesterday. Insanity! Yet real.
Now I have a badass skill set in working through these emotions and processing my feelings for what comes up for me. Though I was thinking, if this still happens to me, with all the work I’ve done, with all the 4th step inventories and conscious dedication to living my life in a new way and I still am left feeling crippled in my kitchen when this memory emerged; What do other people do?
I have no idea! Do you ignore it? Push it down? Watch it and laugh at how silly you used to be? Honour it? Let it go? Or play it off like no big deal when you can still feel the sickness in the stomach…..
What do you do?
For me, I like to get clear on what I am really feeling shame over and go from there. I ask my Higher Power, Angels and Guides to help me have compassion for myself so I can let go of the charge with clarity. I made a mistake; I acted out of fear and I hurt someone because of it. I don’t tell myself that what I did way okay, because it wasn’t. Though I connect into the little girl within and am often reminded just how powerless she felt and how her world felt like an overwhelming mess with no end in sight. I take responsibility for my actions and know that if I were ever in this situation again, I would make a different choice.
That’s all I can do.
(and make amends to the person if it is appropriate to do so.)
I’ve learned that it’s better to deal with these things right away. If you let it linger, ignore the emotion and swallow it down; it can consume you and swallow you whole. Even if it’s emotional, it’s better to get the support you need to honour this aspect of your soul that has come up to be seen, heard and released.