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SHAME AND GUILT

PREPARE YOUR EYES TO READ AND YOUR HEART TO RECEIVE AS YOU TAKE IN THE WORDS THAT LOOK TO CHANGE LIVES, RENEW HEARTS, AND OPEN MINDS. If I asked ten people if they would change anything about their appearance, I would bet 9 of them say they would alter their look somehow. This self alteration could be because of perception, shame, or guilt. Most people would agree that perception is (at least) 90 percent of reality and is often more influential than reality. At some point in our lives, we have looked at others' appearance, attire, employment, relationships, or wealth and concluded that what we perceive influences us more than what is accurate. We begin to seek out what we think has made others happy. The new vanity trend is the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) for women, and men have elected for muscle enhancement and contouring. There are many reasons for seeking surgeries such as these; others might view it as a waste of money. Other "uplifting" services include breast augmentation, botox, eyelid, gender confirmation, liposuction, mommy makeovers, neck lift, pectoral implants, penile implants, pet facelifts, tummy tucks, and the list goes on. According to the most recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans spent $16.8 billion on plastic surgery in 2020, with 15.6 million cosmetic procedures. (Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, 2020) The perception of beauty equals happiness to some, while others look for change to socially, physically, or emotionally fit in. That's when words such as guilt and shame creep into the vocabulary, and it teaches people to feel disappointment in themselves and drives them to hate anyone who has it better than they do and to despise anyone who has it worse. Shame is feeling bad for who you are, measured against some standard of perfection or acceptability, while guilt is feeling bad for what you have done or not done. When there is a sense of shame, disappointment, failure, and embarrassment are words that describe our feelings, and there is a sense of being judged by someone else, while guilt is a judgment upon yourself, and we tell ourselves that we did something wrong. How do we change our mindset to realize that we all have flaws and shortcomings? First, stop setting unrealistic expectations upon others and ourselves and recognize that it is ok to make mistakes. We become fixated on being so perfect that we eventually become afraid to make mistakes because disappointment is associated with failure. Through our failures is when we learn to do and be better. Second, find someone that you trust to give you honest feedback (good or bad). Having a trusted confidant will allow someone to provide feedback from the outside. Third, learn to ask and give forgiveness. Sending the message of acceptance and validation is often all we need to conquer shame. Lastly, know that you made a mistake and are not one. Learn to give and accept love. We are all worthy of being loved, and reassuring people that there are people that will take you for who you are is what we all need to hear from time to time.#SPEAK2MYHEART


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