I’m always a fan of a good Heather Havrilesky advice column:
Shame creates imaginary worlds inside your head. This haunted house you’re creating is forged from your shame. No one else can see it, so you keep trying to describe it to them. You find ways to say, “You don’t want any part of this mess. I’m mediocre, aging rapidly, and poor. Do yourself a favor and leave me behind.” You want to be left behind, though. That way, no one bears witness to what you’ve become.
It’s time to come out of hiding. It’s time to step into the light and be seen, shame and wrinkles and failures and fears and all.
I found this column to be very powerful because of its emphasis on the narratives we tell ourselves about our own lives. Anything can be viewed differently in hindsight. In fact, it often should be.