Walk in His Love
I've tried to smack myself into behaving correctly. I've slipped from what I knew to be good and then I would beat myself up for days, and even years, because of it. This habitual response doesn't change over night - it takes a lot of work... Perhaps it was easier to stay in self-pity than to get to action; perhaps self-pity was just a really hard well to get out of once I choose to enter it or perhaps I just didn't know what else to do.
I'm not surprised that shame was my primary motivator for so long. When I was growing up I often interpreted things that would happen to me, the wrong way, frequently taking responsibility when it did not belong with me. I took things personally, not knowing that other people's behaviors have a lot more to do with them than with me. Every time I blamed my experiences on my apparent "deficiency", I confirmed a lie that was… well, a lie.
None of this actually helped me grow. Actually, I believe that it did the very opposite - it hindered my growth, prevented me from connecting with others, and caused me tons of anxiety.
Today, I dare me and you to love ourselves, as we are. I dare us to forgive ourselves for not knowing or for not doing better, and then lovingly following up that forgiveness with goodness - whether that be a new course of action, making amends, or another life-giving option. Nobody wins when we put ourselves down, except for the one that wants us to choose evil.
The world needs the best version of us. We need the best version of us. I dare us to accept that Someone out there loves us, for us, exactly as we are right now, how we were yesterday and how we will be tomorrow.
Rest in His Love and then share it with the rest of the world. Walk in His Love and He will give you the strength that you need to change, no shame or fear necessary.