Isn't shame a paralyzing thing? I had avoided the dentist's office for a few years. I was so afraid of the look in my dentist's eyes---the "what were you thinking!?" shaming look. And yes, I had a dentist who could ever so subtly do that thing women can do with raised eyebrows, a tone of voice, and fake reassurance: "Well, you're here now. I guess we'll do our best..." Then I imagined that she would peer over her glasses like a mean librarian, letting out a deep and exasperated sigh.
And since I'm creating more and more good space in my life, I decided on something elementary and obvious: I needed a new dentist.
Today was "new-dentist-face-the-music-day." I was nervous. I bit all my nails. (Which I realize is also a problem for your teeth because I had to check the box on the intake forms that I occasionally bite my nails. Shoot!) The staff was kind and professional. The office was soothing, and only a few blocks from my house. When the doctor came into the room I found all the authenticity I could muster to say, "I know I should have come sooner, I've had a lot going on and I was nervous and..." He stopped me. He smiled. He said, "Kristie, it's just a tooth. We'll fix it. There are just bigger things in life. This is just a tooth."
Isn't that sweet?
Is there something in your life you need to hear that about?
It's just a ______________. We'll fix it. There are bigger things!
Relax. Be loved. Let go of your shame story!
When they scheduled a follow-up appointment, I said, "Great! I'll look forward to it." And the front office gals laughed and said, "Are you sure? You're looking forward to a filling?!" And I am. Because taking excellent care of myself is important and sometimes that looks like a cup of tea before bed, and at others, it looks like breaking up with your dentist to find a nice one who makes you feel human. Shame is a liar, and you are worth more than the story that tells you that you're a total screw up. And maybe like me, you just need a new dentist or a new perspective.