Shame is a hardcore emotion. By hardcore, I mean it is one of the most challenging emotions (for me) to process and let go of. Some hide their shame while others admit it openly, like a confession they feel they need to offer for redemption. I do a little of both.
I could say it depends on the situation that the shame comes from. I am not sure that I have come to terms with all the things I have done that made me ashamed of myself or my actions. I fully admit I am not always the best person I can be. I could be a better daughter, mother, sister, and friend. Those days when someone needs something, I don’t have it to give. These to me are admittable shames that I feel. We can’t always be perfect.
There is the shame of how I take care of myself. I do not work out as much as I should. I eat crap food more than I should. I am addicted to sugar and am often ashamed of the amount of sugar I eat which can only be labeled as a binge. Do I talk about this openly as a confession? No, I do not. I joke about it but never truly talk about how serious this issue is. But still, shame that I carry with me.
Recently, I was in a conversation with someone who was struggling because of how she craves love and attention from someone that is not attainable. The person was angry, destructive, and practically off the rails with rage because they could not contain their passion for this person. I offered to advise on what I thought was appropriate at the time. After I said what I thought was the right response I truly began to think about the situation. It was then I knew there were some things that I would never feel shame about.
We all have our different levels of criteria when it comes to what we are willing to do. I can justify almost any action by seeing both sides or all sides of situations. This skill has been useful in many situations. I will, however, never feel shame for being hungry for someone. I lived the majority of my young adult, and adult life passionless. I settled with most of what came my way with little thought of whether it was what I really wanted. I was content, not happy, just content.
When things changed and I became interested in someone I knew I could not have fully in my life the way I wanted them, it was hard to feel content with anyone else. I probably spent a lot of time in relationships that didn’t make sense because I was content, but I also hurt a lot of people by assuming my contentment was enough for them. Upon meeting this person who ignited things in me I had never experienced before, I realized not only could I never have them the way I wanted them. I would no longer be content with anyone else. It just isn’t enough.
Being hungry for someone is not something to feel shame about. Finding that person that makes you feel something that no other has been able to feel is amazing and should be celebrated. Few people ever find that person or have that feeling. It is a horrible “shame” when that person is not available, but the act of being hungry and wanting that person is not shameful. I don’t mean seeing Jason Momoa in a movie or picture and feeling hungry for him based on his looks and what you know of him. (I will say from what I have read he truly does seem like a good guy and he is not hard to look at AT ALL). I mean when you meet someone that checks all the boxes. There may be one or two things that you don’t care for, but there is nothing that you just can’t stand about the person. You want them with you all the time, in all situations and circumstances. They are your go-to when you are happy, sad, scared, excited, or worried. They make you laugh and hold you when you cry. They give you reason when you are drifting a bit outside of reality. They make you giggle when you are being too serious. Sex is exactly what you have always wanted. The open conversations about sex and what you have always wanted feel as natural as if you were talking about which grocery store you should go to. You ache when they hurt. You want nothing for the best for that person – even if that means they can’t be with you. That kind of hunger is not something to feel shame, it is love. (Maybe a little lust too and that is okay).
I have this person. (I’m sure you figured that out). I am not ashamed of how I feel about him or why I feel the way I do. I feel lucky in some ways that I found that person, even though I can’t have him in my life the way I want him to be. Some people never find that. I feel sad that the love of my life is not one that will end in two older people holding hands and walking on a beach in retirement. I’m actually very sad about that, and sad that I probably won’t have that with anyone else, unless I go back to being content. Time will tell.
Can I relate to the anger and “off the rail” rage of the person that was seeking my advice? Damn straight I can. Are there self-love professionals out there that would tell me this is not a healthy way to be? I’m pretty sure there are. Are there people that think feeling this way should bring feelings of shame? Yes, probably. To all of these folks, I say, I have not yet learned to control who I fall in love with. I am not sure that I ever will, or that I want to. I know there are also people that I wished I could have loved and hungered for, but it just wasn’t there. I honestly feel a bit worse about that.