When we begin to stand up for ourselves, we will do so imperfectly. When we begin to stand up for ourselves to those whom we have given too much, we should expect conflict. They will lash out. We will, at times, respond inappropriately. Have grace for yourself. Be willing to apologize without shame and without minimizing the offense of the other person. We matter, we deserve to be pursued and authentically apologized to. We also cannot control anyone but ourselves.
As we stand up for ourselves and voice our hurts, others may respond with defensiveness. They are not used to us confronting them when we are hurt. They are not used to us standing up for ourselves. When shame begins to tear us apart, highlighting each unwise word, each harsh tone we used, remember: Shame does NOT get to decide what’s right and wrong, nor who we are.
Let us accept where we did wrong, apologize if possible, and relinquish the rest. It is not on us to force others to forgive us, nor to force others to apologize to us. These are good things to want, and I hope each and every one of us receives these wonderful blessings, but we cannot demand them. Remember: We cannot control others as much as we want to. We can only control ourselves. When that faithful companion Shame comes clawing at our hearts and minds remember these words:
By standing up for yourself you have begun to honor yourself. You ARE worthy of that honor. We all must learn to engage in conflict — that is part of growing. Give yourself grace. Please give yourself grace. You deserve it. Shame would convince us otherwise, but shame is wrong.
Shame. Is. Wrong.
We are beautifully broken. Whole and incomplete. We are a work in process. And that is okay. Treat yourself with kindness today. With grace today. Thank you for reading.”
Author: Kevin Jones, CIT