June 17, 2017
“Shame is the first feeling that strikes me whenever I, or someone I love, has a problem,” said one recovering woman.
Many of us were raised with the belief that having a problem is something to be ashamed of.
This belief can do many damaging things to us. It can stop us from identifying our problems; it can make us feel alienated and inferior when we have, or someone we love has, a problem. Shame can block us from solving a problem and finding the gift from the problem.
Problems are a part of life. So are solutions. People have problems, but we, and our self-esteem, are separate from our problems.
I’ve yet to meet a person who didn’t have problems to solve, but I’ve met many who felt ashamed to talk about the problems they actually had solved!
We are more than our problems. Even if our problem is our own behavior, the problem is not who we are—it’s what we did.
It’s okay to have problems. It’s okay to talk about problems—at appropriate times, and with safe people. It’s okay to solve problems.
And we’re okay, even when we have, or someone we love, has a problem. We don’t have to forfeit our personal power or our self-esteem. We have solved exactly the problems we’ve needed to solve to become who we are.
Today, I will let go of my shame about problems.
From the book: The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
About the author
In addiction and recovery circles, Melody Beattie is a household name. She is the best-selling author of numerous books.
One of Melody's more recent titles is The Grief Club, which was published in 2006. This inspirational book gives the reader an inside look at the miraculous phenomenon that occurs after loss--the being welcomed into a new "club" of sorts, a circle of people who have lived through similar grief and pain, whether it be the loss of a child, a spouse, a career, or even one's youth.