“No blame, no shame” is a handy phrase I adopted from Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robins. In that book, Robins uses “no blame, no shame” to refer to not getting caught up in being harsh with ourselves or judging ourselves for how we handled our finances in the past. What is more important, Robins argues, is looking at our present and our future and taking steps now. No blame, no shame for what is in the past.
“No blame, no shame” is helpful for considering our self-care too. Self-care is a journey – sometimes that journey is like a well-paved highway that we can easily cruise along. Sometimes it’s more like an unpaved Saskatchewan highway full of potholes (example here) and moving forward is a struggle. And sometimes we’re just off in the woods not even sure we’re on a path.
All of us have times in our lives where self-care is not going smoothly. Or we make choices that activate guilt:
“I shouldn’t be taking time off right now, I have so much work to do.”
“If I just stay up late for a few nights, I’ll get caught up.”
“I don’t have time to do self-care!”
I’ve heard guilt described as a fire alarm: It sends us a message that something is (maybe) wrong, but once it has sent us that message it does us no good to sit around and listen to it while the house burns down.
It does us no good to sit around and feel guilty about our self-care (or lack thereof) either: No blame, no shame.
No blame, no shame – what you did in the past is irrelevant. What you do today and tomorrow is more important.
A Brief Story about No Blame, No Shame
Why is No Blame, No Shame on my mind this morning? Because I used a food delivery app to order breakfast.
I also used a food delivery app to order breakfast yesterday.
It’s no surprise that many of us are struggling during the pandemic. That includes me. One thing that I struggle with, when times are busy and overwhelming, is planning/cooking meals. We have relied a lot more on food delivery apps during the pandemic than ever before – and I often feel overwhelming guilt about that:
“I should be cooking homemade meals, especially for my child.”
“This is a waste of money… it would be so much cheaper to cook.”
“Who can’t find the energy to cook? I’m such a failure.”
But, this is what we are doing to get by. No blame, no shame. We are fed. That is how my family has defined wellness right now.
You might define wellness completely differently – remember everyone’s values are different, so everyone’s self-care is different too.
No blame, no shame – we’re doing the best we can.
In self-care solidarity,