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The day I nearly died, the nurse cut off my clothes, while others transferred my body from the gurney to a bed. Even though I was almost dead, I was flooded with more shame than I can ever remember in a single moment. It’s literally just a flash of memory.
The next second, I was out again. I stayed unconscious for several more hours as my liver decided if it would keep me alive or not. But in that space between semi-consciousness and near-death, knowing that strangers could see my body tapped into the shame of childhood abuse, and caused a great deal of panic. Even though I was barely alive.
Have you ever read the Biblical account of the woman caught in adultery? Can you imagine how shaky tender she must have felt the day after she wasn’t stoned to death? The day after Jesus - the Healer, the Rebel, the Wild Man, the Rabbi - stepped into the path of her near-death moment, and told her she would not be condemned.
A stoning would be a terrible way to die. The condemned person, buried up to their waist, watched and waited as a crowd approached. The temperature underground was below 60 degrees. Participants brought stones the size of plums.
A single hit probably wouldn’t kill someone, or even knock them out, but a hundred stones nearly the size of a fist over a period several hours would do the trick. Organs would rupture and bruise and eventually begin shutting down, but the sinner remained conscious. Hurting. Aware of every blow, yet unable to run. Fully aware that life was over, unable to save themselves. It would have taken four or five hours to die.
If you ask me, a stoning sounds a lot like life without self-care.
What's your biggest problem?
What's that one thing that drives you crazy? Does it keep you up at night? Does it keep you from focusing on your kids? Are you not as productive at work because of this one big hurdle?
What's the thing you've buried for decades?
My biggest struggle was shame. Shame was choking the living right out of my life. Shame over childhood sexual abuse, shame over a secret porn addiction, shame over being in the ministry but needing prescription drugs because I have a mental illness.
Shame sucks. But there is hope.
Maybe it's something completely different for you. In my years as a pastor, author, and speaker, I've encountered countless people. And most of them can name their one thing. The problem is that they don't know what to do about it.
That's where I come in. As a Self-Care Coach, I know that together, we can do what seems impossible.
For years, I made perfection my goal. But since my suicide attempt, I have learned to embrace the fact that I am an imperfect being, living in a world, ripe with challenges. It seems so easy at times, just to slap a bandaid on an issue and try to move forward, but eventually that bandage is going to rot, you’re going to get dirt under it, it’s going to fester, and you’re going to be in a much worse situation that you could have possibly imagined.
What if, instead of trying to be perfect, we began to embrace our own lived experiences? What if we accepted the fact that we are human and stopped this masquerade? We are all flawed, full of blemishes and will continue to screw-up on a regular basis, but our brokenness is what draws us to one another.
Everyone's story is different, but the majority of people I have met fit into these 3 categories:
- They don't think they deserve self-care.
- They'll "get around to it later" because they're "too busy".
- They're scared to death to do the hard work of recovery.
If you're tired of burying things and are ready to start living your life to the fullest, then don't waste another second of this beautiful life you've been given. Stop what you're doing right now, go to calendly.com/iamsteveaustin and schedule your FREE 20-minute self-care consultation with me!
My book, Self-Care for the Wounded Soul: 21 Days of Messy Grace, has helped countless people create a lifestyle of focused emotional health and purpose. What are you waiting for? It's time to get your life back. Let's do this!