September 9, 2010
I just did a bonehead thing.
I just tried to go through the security line at the airport. I didn’t have water, I didn’t have too many liquid lotions, I wasn’t eating a banana (they don’t allow that), and wasn’t breaking any of the usual rules.
I still had my checked bag with me! Yep. I was all the way with my shoes, laptop, bag, and purse, and jacket in the bins deep into security before they said, “uh, are you checking that [pointing to my giant suitcase]?”
Classic bonehead move, right? Never done that one before! Usually I am super efficient, smart, cautious, prepared traveler, uptight even (I like arriving to airports VERY early).
OK, so I was distracted by the whole laptop thing and I rarely check bags or fly out of Oakland, but still…
Thankfully the TSA guys were super friendly about it all (they were laughing with me not at me, right?), but I don’t share this for masochistic reasons.
This was a huge success for me.
I was able to calmly put my shoes back on and pick my stuff up with a smile on my face and walk away...
...WITHOUT FEELING TOXIC SHAME.
You know, that icky, flawed, hollow/heavy sinking sensation in your chest of please god let me disappear right now I am such a freakin’ idiot loser feeling?
I thought, “Oops. Oh well, I didn’t know this airport and rarely check a bag, so I got confused, it’s OK.” As I walked over to the short line to check my bag I kept waiting for the shame to hit.
But it never did.
I felt just fine. It only took about 5 minutes to check the bag and I knew that not only did it not matter timewise, it was just no biggie anyway. My mistake didn’t take up any more of my brainpower than that.
Once in a while in the past I could avoid its dark and seepingly cold touch, but usually in a public “ruh roh” move like that it would have descended rapidly and tainted me to the core.
At the very least I would have been rattled, feeling “off my game,” lower in confidence, and very very small.
And it would have taken me hours to shake it off and get back to feeling centered and balanced again.
It’s not rational, I know, but it used to grab me in its ugly mitts more frequently that I’d care to remember.
So how could I stay feeling centered and good today? It’s been a gradual process.
I think it’s a combination of better being able to separate what I DO from who I AM (focusing on my purpose not the little stuff), continuing the practice of being ultra loving with myself, not dwelling on the past (even one minute ago), and on really not giving a hoot what people think.
ALL easier said than done, and that’s why it’s been a very gradual thing.
I’m here to share my internally powerful mini-victory and to encourage all of you who experience this kind of shame to know that it can fade from your life!
- Focus on what you know you are about
- Keep your power within yourself (don’t give it away to things outside of yourself that you can’t control)
- Keep looking forward - what's my next step?
- Practice being the most kind loving best friend to yourself that you can be.
I can’t emphasize that last part enough. It’s been the most healing, important personal self-improvement skill I’ve learned in the past 15 years.
You are a loving, beautiful, powerful, wise, and important person.
Treat yourself like the amazing person that you are – in your words, deeds, self-care, and most importantly in the way you talk to yourself in your head.
I know you are worthy of loving yourself no matter what.
Cheers and Love,
Wishing y'all a fantastic week stepping into your power. Make it happen! I'm cheering you on all the way.
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You truly are a beautiful light being and I love helping you shine even more brightly. Be the shining star you are!