Shame is a trigger that shuts down creativity, and for me specifically it shuts down my writing. I can feel shame over rehashing past events, which is exactly what happens when I’m writing my memoir. Or I can feel shame when I fail or when I compare myself to someone else.

There is an attitude that causes me to rise above shame, a positive trigger if you will. (See yesterday’s post, “Positive and Negative Triggers“.) After mulling this over the other day, I came to realize that attitude or mindset for me is acceptance.

Without getting too far off track, let me share my definition of acceptance. It is a mental state that makes room for the here and now and allows that everything is as it should be. There are a lot of ways to interpret “everything is as it should be”. You might rail against that phrase initially – I did. It insinuates a moral acceptance of injustice, but that’s not really what it means.

Here’s how it works. When something happens, it happens, and there is nothing I can do to change it, even if there was an injustice. The only thing I can change is my attitude about it. Acknowledging that everything is as it should be lets me let go of any knee jerk need to escape or deny what is happening (or what happened in the past). I accept it because I cannot change it or control it. I trust that everything is as it should be because I know that there is a higher perspective in every situation. There is more context to be had, even if I can’t see it or know it. I can let go because I know that God knows and he is working on it.

All I can ever control is my attitude and my next action. Shame cannot control me anymore when I accept what is and decide to be happy. “Everything is as it should be.”

When I try to mentally escape from or deny what has happened, I feel all kinds of negative emotions and I do unhealthy things. When I can make room in my existence for the here and now, and trust that God is working for my good, I can accept whatever is happening (or has happened) and move forward.

Admitting that everything is as it should be frees me to do the next right thing, peacefully (and thereby achieve justice or effect change if that is what is needed). Acceptance is my antidote to shame. It is how I transcend. It is the way to view events and circumstances from a place of curiosity that asks: what can I learn from how I reacted? What will I do differently next time? What is God teaching me or nudging me towards?

It’s easy to look back at my design school experience and think that if only I had persevered, I would be a rich and famous fashion designer now. Instant shame trigger. But what if what happened was what needed to happen? What if it was for my ultimate good? Maybe that choice I made was used by God to work things out in a miraculous way. It doesn’t mean that I should look for opportunities to fail. It doesn’t mean that I should retreat in shame the next time I do fail. It just means that, in the larger scheme of things, maybe my purpose is right here, with the family I have now, with the life that I landed in after I walked away.


  1. If and when you publish your book, I will definitely be buying it. Your story is going to and will help me on my journey.

    1. Thank you for reading my blog. It’s encouraging to know that something I’ve shared has resonated with you. -Tina

Leave a Reply