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ODE TO SHAMELESS WOMEN EVERYWHERE

What does it mean to be a shameless woman? 

 

Shame is fear. We spend so much time nurturing our shame that we forget what it is. It’s not who we are. If anything, it stops us from living in our authenticity. The roots of shame are not worth watering. They are the decaying remains of other people’s judgment, societal expectations, and who we “should” have been. It accompanies our darkest moments and is vanquished when we step into our power. So much of the world works to shame us into a routine. There are billion dollar industries that prey on us feeling like we are not enough, on us feeling ashamed of ourselves. That’s why self care is so intrinsically tied to being a shameless woman. It’s shameless to look out for yourself without worrying about what others might think. It’s shameless to choose to love who we are, exactly as we are, every day. Be so shameless in your self love that you ultimately get rid of that fear of letting others down and put more effort into avoiding letting ourselves down. 

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.

-Audre Lorde

 

Is it not warfare? Constantly battling against the forces that want us to hide ourselves, to minimize who we are and what we want, to fit into some idea of what a woman should be? We all have an internal shame that’s been brooding since we were little. It’s fed by all the times we were humiliated, and talked down to, and made fun of. If you’re not breaking this cycle, you’re a complicit part of it and it will just keep being passed around like a hot potato from woman to woman, keeping us from coming together in full force. Have you ever seen someone dressed a certain way or acting a certain way and immediately judge and shame them in your mind? We all do, but there’s a reciprocal action inside that happens when we do, either we feel bad and shame ourselves for being judgmental or we are actually shaming that part of ourselves who wants to be like the judged person. Sometimes the beliefs we have don’t line up with our authentic self and that’s a breeding ground for shame. That is exactly what makes us project- put our inner feelings about ourselves onto someone else.

 

Power Tip 1: Know shame for who she is

Shame is a parasitic monster sucking our life of joy, self-love and the ability to truly accept and celebrate others, too. Awareness is key. To acknowledge that it is a part of everyone’s lives is the first step in confronting and dissolving it from our psyche. Shame can last a lifetime if we let it. It isn’t caused by a single event, but an amassing of wounds to our self-worth. We feel guilty when we think we’ve done something wrong and embarrassed or humiliated when we’ve erred in public. But we feel shame when we think we are wrong. We may feel powerless to change whatever it is that makes us feel it, which then leads us to feel even more of it. Shame can feel unfixable, because it binds to all emotions. So even when we feel good, we can feel shame—like we don’t deserve it. Acknowledging that shame is not a weight you have to carry around with every emotion you feel will free your mind to love and happiness.

Power Tip 2: Self care means self nurture

Learning to care for our body and feelings is so important but let’s step into the deep end. Nurturing yourself goes beyond face masks, workouts and reading the power series every week. Self-nurturing means finding the parts of yourself that are broken, hurt or discarded and loving them UP. Imagine those parts of yourself like a little bird with a broken wing, wrap them in a blanket, hold them gently to you and give them empathy and care. Do some investigative work and think about the moments in your childhood and teenage years where the seeds of shame were planted. Do the beliefs you have about yourself fit your authentic nature? If they don’t, know that you have the power to let them go and adopt new ones. This life is yours to live and your views are yours to form. Try questioning your view of right and wrong, good and bad, appropriate and shameful. You might just find some programming that you don’t agree with.

 

Power Tip 3: Transmute your shame

 

Transmuting our shame means to change it into something else. We can transmute that shame by finding self-acceptance. Look at the parts of yourself you feel ashamed of, can you empathize? Accept your less-than-perfect self? It helps to remember that every single person harbors shame too, just like you. We need to start taking on self-nurturing and expressing it outwardly too. That person you judged, find a way to call your own bull and find something positive to say about them, then go inside of yourself and find the broken part that makes you want to project that judgement. And yes, have a solid cry. 

Accessing these places in your mind can be difficult and all consuming. Breathwork can help guide you through the journey of understanding your shame. Take long deep breaths through your nose and focus on just feeling your body. Give yourself a good 10-15 minutes to simply breathe without thought. It can help you anytime you feel overwhelmed, upset or when you just need to get centered again.

 

Real Talk: Get real with yourself and feel the full spectrum of emotions that accompany shame so you can start critically thinking about who you really are. You have it in your power to transform your shame into acceptance and inner peace. We can change the world of women just by changing the lens with which we see ourselves. Diminishing our shame removes us from this toxic cycle of projecting it onto others. It’s the least we can do for each other.