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“The act of judging others has its origins in our self-judgement. Shamed people, shame people.” ~ Curt Thompson
When we don’t heal and work on our own shame, insecurities, and lack of self-love, we do ourselves and others the greatest disservice.
We project all that shame, insecurities, and lack of self-love onto others in the harshest and cruelest of ways. And what’s worse is we don’t even recognise this behaviour because of lack of self-awareness.
We might protect our ego by belittling others to make ourselves feel better, which, by the way, never actually works. Our belief system is limited or even skewed, and we might lack the ability to self-analyse our behaviour to change and grow.
Every day, I see this spewed all over social media. In the workplace. In life. The judgement. The condemnation. The belittling. The nastiness of others. Tearing someone down. And the saddest part of all is whilst it hurts and causes another pain (often total strangers), it is a projection of the judger, the belittler, the condemner. It is a direct reflection of how we might feel about ourselves. The lack of our own self-worth.
Someone who loves and respects themselves, who is secure in their own worthiness and is happy within, would never—ever—behave in this way.
Just the other day, I read an article where former tennis player Jelena Dokic was pleading with people to stop bullying her about her weight. Some people thought it was their right to comment on her Instagram posts judging her weight and body-shaming her—and she was begging for it to stop.
It wasn’t just the general public; it was also the media. If anyone knows anything about Jelena’s history, they would know she suffers from anxiety and depression, which makes this all the more despicable. Regardless of someone’s mental health, this simply should not happen. Ever.
A few years ago in Sydney, Australia, we had a celebrity named Charlotte Dawson. Charlotte was an ex-model and had forged her way into the media amongst other business ventures. She was in her 40s, and she was being bullied and verbally assaulted on her social media pages.
She posted that she was not coping, and her mental health was suffering. She disappeared from social media for a time. It was relentless. She was shamed and judged for her age, her body, her lifestyle, her mental well-being, and no matter what she did, it wouldn’t stop.
Charlotte was found by a close friend in her home after taking her own life. And even then, the shaming and judging continued.
These are just two people. This happens to people every single day.
I personally have been body-shamed when I put on weight. When I lost weight. I was too chubby. Then I was too skinny. I should lose weight. I should gain weight. Honestly, it’s never okay to body shame someone. It’s never okay to shame another about their appearance, their sexuality, their financial situation, their choice to have kids or not have kids, their education, their mental health, and the list goes on.
But as I have gone within and worked on myself and done my own healing, I now understand that those who judge, shame, belittle, and condemn others might be just sad and unhappy individuals. They have so much inner work to do, so much learning and self-awareness, but they either don’t realise it or they don’t want to.
Sometimes it’s easier for people to get a temporary boost to their self-esteem by shaming another. And I understand we all have our wounds and traumas, but if we want to be better people, then we need to do the work. I understand these people and why they behave in such a nasty and bitter way, but it’s not an excuse, and their behaviour is a direct reflection of them.
It’s time that individuals take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror. It’s hard working on ourselves and changing our beliefs, but it’s far better than being cruel and hurting other people in the hope it makes us feel better.
I am far from perfect, but I am now self-aware enough to call myself on my own sh*t. I sit with my triggers and question myself, and in need, I work on that. I notice when my ego gets in the way and what it is that I am lacking to make me feel this way. I work on my self-love and my worthiness constantly because I know to be better, I need to do better—and that requires constant work.
It’s not okay to sit behind a keyboard and shame another. It’s not okay to personally attack someone on social media—or anywhere, in fact. Everyone has a story. We all have our history and our wounds, but what sets us apart are those who are willing to step up to the plate and address them. Those who have had enough of their own sh*t and want to grow into a better version of themselves. And it all starts with honesty. Honesty with ourselves.
For those who cannot see fault in their behaviour and can’t or won’t look inside of themselves, I feel sad for you. I feel sad that you will never feel the self-love and self-worth we all deserve to feel. That you don’t understand that compassion, gratitude, vulnerability, and grace are the most precious of gifts. And that by shaming, judging, and belittling another, we are shaming, judging, and belittling ourselves.
It starts with us. Who we want to be. How we want to be remembered and how we make others feel. We are an exact reflection of what we put out into the world. Choose the person you want to be.
Shamed people shame others.