Wednesday, October 7, 2015

{Day 7} la la la Shame on you...

Yesterday we talked about shame. We all have some measure of it. We are all affected by shame, whether it is our own or that of someone in life.

I’m no expert. I do know, from life experience, that shame has disallowed my mom’s true nature, and, for a long time, mine as well.

What does shame look like to you? For me, it was wanting to be invisible. Avoiding social gatherings in high school and college because I was sure no one would talk to me, sure everyone would think I was weird.

Shame was being unable to say, “I have never met my father,” until I was in my mid-20’s. When I was a kid, I claimed I didn’t have a dad. Clearly that didn’t fly for long. Then I said he had died. That was accepted until a college friend, whose father had also died, was astonished that I was not receiving a Social Security stipend. We were standing in a group and twice she said, “Really, you should check into that because you can get money.” Talk about feeling small and ashamed.

Crazy, isn’t it? Like it was somehow my fault he was absent. Like it was my responsibility to make everything that followed right. But shame doesn’t take a logical path. It doesn’t make sense. It isn’t based on truth and, in fact, thrives in the absence of truth.

PLEASE KNOW that I am not casting blame. There is no good in that. I am simply grateful for the ability to recognize,draw the line, and say, “No More.”

How does shame keep you down? Do you keep people at a distance because you have a secret no one would understand? Do you avoid family gatherings because you feel like the proverbial black sheep? Maybe you feel like everything you dislike about yourself, everything that causes you shame, is written on a sign hovering over your head?

I sure did.

The problem with carrying a sign all the time is you start to believe it.

I sure did.

The process of UN-believing, of letting go of shame is gloriously freeing.

In the book of Isaiah, Chapter 61, the prophet speaks in the voice of the coming Messiah. In the Amplified Bible, the chapter is titled, “Exaltation of the Afflicted” referring to the Israelites. Hear these words:
“The Lord has anointed and commissioned me to bring good news to the humble and afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted,
To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives;
To grant to those who mourn…the following:
To give them a ]turban instead of dust [on their heads, a sign of mourning],
The oil of joy instead of mourning,
The garment of praise instead of a disheartened spirit…
Instead of your [former] shame you will have a double portion;
And instead of humiliation your people will shout for joy over their portion.
Therefore in their land they will possess double [what they had forfeited];
Everlasting joy will be theirs.

The Creator of the universe, the One who is the source of every being cares about your shame and mine. He sees the weight. He wants to help you be released from it.

But you must allow that.

These 31 days are not directed at shame, so we won’t stay here any longer. If any of this resonated with you, please don’t just push it back under the water. Your spirit is a cork that wants to float. It is an effort to hold it under the water – and why do it?

There is joy waiting on the other side of that shame. Joy that brings strength and so much more that you haven’t been allowing.

Thanks for reading.

We will talk again tomorrow…

I am participating in Write 31 Days. Click here to read more about it and see the other amazing bloggers.
You can see earlier entries below this blog or in the sidebar under 2015.
Beth Painter is, among many other things, a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.

Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life! 

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