It’s a powerful force.
Shame imprisons people.
Shame keeps secrets hidden.
Shame brings on isolation, hurt, pain.
Shame terrifies people.
Shame keeps people from connecting.
Shame causes sin, hurt, pain (etc) to grow.
Shame keeps you masked.
Shame is defined as:
the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another. Synonyms for shame include; humiliation, to mortify, embarrassment, chasten, to humble.
In establishments of faith, shame often keeps people from asking for and getting the help that they so desperately need. What would people think if they knew… insert “shameful” behavior here? The enemy uses shame to further bind people, causing them to believe there is no freedom for them and whatever they are struggling with. We all know what happens to things that stay hidden. They grow and they combine forces with shame and the enemy and cause you to enter into a downward spiral.
I am an extroverted introvert. Which simply means I have both introverted and extroverted tendencies. As an extrovert I love to meet new people (when the mood is right.) I love connecting with people. I don’t mind (and sometime greatly enjoy) being the center of attention, but my introverted side despises small talk, and favor connecting in deep ways. I am extremely introspective, and I think surface level stuff is a waste of time. Because of my make up and the fact that I get the privilege of helping women (and sometimes men) navigate through life and personal crisis, I LOVE to help people BLOW UP SHAME. I can, at times, overwhelm people when I sit down with them for our first conversation and a few sentences in I explain that I HATE shame and see no need for it so let’s just blow it up right now!
Then I ask, “what’s the worse thing you have been through, done or that has been done to you?” Let’s dig right in, no need to waste time, I smell shame, let’s BLOW IT UP! I realize those questions can be completely overwhelming, but you have to understand that the people I am talking to have come to me for help. Although I have been known to say things to people as the door opens that I wasn’t officially working with, but I really can’t help myself. I LOVE to blow shame up!
It is so empowering to watch someone open up and blow shame up like it’s their job.
It’s when someone speaks the thing that they felt like they could never say out loud where you can actually see them take their power back. It is true that our pasts shape and impact who we are, but what has been done by us and to us can not define us and should never bind us to shame…unless you let it. Freedom is understanding that shame is a choice. You don’t have to choose to shame any longer. It’s time to BLOW IT UP!
Isaiah 61 has always been one of my favorite passages of scriptures. I had the beginning memorized, I felt like the words of the first few verses were a part of my very being… As if Isaiah wrote them with me in mind. I felt so connected to those passages.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
And then something happened.
My world crumbled.
I was faced with my own shame.
My husband had an affair.
The people that “loved us” and called us “family” who should have been there for us to help us pick up the pieces, turned their backs. They gossiped, they judged, they pointed their fingers, they mocked, they imprisoned me with shame. During this time the pain was unbearable, not just because of what my husband had done, but because of everything that came along with it, it was like throwing buckets of salt in a gaping wound.
There I was all alone, isolated, humiliated, filled with shame.
Then I read these that I have read so many times before…
“Instead of your shame you will have a double portion,
And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion.
Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land,
Everlasting joy will be theirs.” Isaiah 61:7
I knew I had a choice. I could stay in hiding. I could invite shame to devour me… or I could BLOW IT UP.
Shame has no power over me.
I am free.
I understand the double portion. I understand the everlasting joy. I know what happens when He rebuilds where there was former desolation and it is BEAUTIFUL.
Is it easy? NO
But the good stuff rarely is.
How do you blow up shame?
Face your story.
Own your story.
Share your story.
After you share your story, do the hard soul work.