The last few years have been a tumultuous on and off again battle with shame.
I know the signs, phrases, and beliefs in and out. But, somehow, this most recent attack was way off my radar.
As per usual, it began with a conflict. During which, my husband and I were painted in a bad light. And by painted I mean; stripped, sanded down, primed, painted, and covered with a few layers of polyurethane. We looked terrible. Lies are a horrible shade on anyone.
When someone lies about you, it’s exceptionally difficult for those of us whose identity is so wrecked to find a foothold on the truth. More lies creep in, insidious lies, like:
“Everything they said was true.”
“You really are an awful person.”
“You deserve for people to believe the worst about you.”
I am painfully familiar with those lies.
But as things died down and the person most infected by lies tried in their own broken way to make amends, I was still irate. Why could I not speak to them, think about them, or talk about them without getting so angry I shook? They had made a stupid mistake, followed by more stupid mistakes, that should be easily forgivable.
Then, it hit me.
It wasn’t the person, it was ME.
I was (am) bound up in a lie disguised as truth:
“If they hate me over lies, they will most certainly hate me because of the truths I know to be worse.”
Fear took hold and echoed the lie any inner-healing program will for sure have written down under the heading: “Shame Based Beliefs”
If people really knew who I am, they will reject me.
I couldn’t (can’t) trust this person to get the chance to see anything true. The ambiguity of mistaken falsehoods is easier than the certainty of truth. Until I let go of that shame, I’ll continue to struggle with that person. They aren’t the problem, just the trigger and I have to drop the gun I have pointed at my own heart.
The only way to root out shame is to (as painful as it is) stop embracing the behaviors and repeat the Truth until it sticks.
“GOD LOVES ME AND DIED FOR ME. HIS IS THE ONLY VOICE THAT HAS A SAY IN WHO I AM.”
If GOD loves me, and knows ALL my sin, couldn’t a human just stomach to be civil?
This is difficult. Shame is like a cancer. It’s often not spotted until you need surgery. You may lose some tissue you thought was important, but the big picture is that if you treat shame like an infection and keep after it, eventually you’ll be free and it won’t hurt you anymore.
So much easier to write than to do.
I pray that GOD would enlighten the eyes of your heart to see what you are doing out of shame and that He would set you free.
His is not a Spirit of condemnation, but a Spirit of Love.