For Shame! Or Not…

I own every season of Friends on DVD. I think part of the show’s success was that we could relate to the characters. There is a little Monica, Ross, Rachael, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey in each of us. Recently I was reminded of the episode “The One With the Secret Closet”. I have accumulated clutter in my bedroom and have to face it – and I don’t have a secret closet like Monica to hide the clutter.

Monica was obsessive-compulsive and kept everything in order – or so we thought. When she discovers that Chandler found out she actually has a messy side, she was ashamed. Her perfect image she wants to portray was tainted.

We have all been there – felt shame or even shamed others. I certainly have experienced both. Allowing others to see my imperfections? My virtual “secret closet” is bursting to fly open. I have also been called out for shaming. I went on a cruise a few years ago (and blogged about it daily here) with a very dear friend. One day while we were at sea, we were sunning poolside when a woman caught my eye. Her figure would be considered plus size and she was wearing a bikini. I questioned to my friend if the woman was clueless as to how she looked in the bikini. My friend responded kindly saying she sees a woman who is very confident and doesn’t care what others think. I was body shaming – and it came so natural, I didn’t even realize it. That moment changed my perspective and how I think.

Fat shaming, skinny shaming – both body shaming, slut shaming, prude shaming, food shaming, even clutter shaming – why?? The shamer may be feeding an insecurity looking for validity. Those who feel shamed may be hiding their own insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. No one is perfect. I am far from perfect. But I am learning to love to be perfectly me.

Recently I introduced a forum on Facebook called her link. The ladies who have joined are amazing – they inspire, empathize, encourage. They are sharing their successes, experiences, life lessons – good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. We are embracing each other perfectly as we are. I encourage women reading to check out her link by clicking the links above to Facebook.

When Chandler discovered the closet contents, Monica feared he would think less of her because she wasn’t as organized as she portrayed. Rather, he tells her he loves her in-spite of her obsessively organized ways, not because of it. Our weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings make us who we are along with all of the good stuff. We need to love ourselves for who we are – perfectly imperfect and love those in our lives the same.

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