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    On Shame.

    Part One. 

    Oh the lies we tell ourselves and the elaborate webs we weave.

    Ever had a song stuck in your head? Better yet, have you ever had just the “hook” of a tune stuck inside your brain and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get it out of your head?

    Fear has a voice and it longs to sing songs over your heart in your most vulnerable moments.
    Fear longs to sing songs of shame.
    Fear loves to remind you of the lies you struggle NOT to believe.

    Lies like:

    “You’ll never amount to anything.”
    “No one will ever love you.”
    “You are unloveable.”
    “You’re too much/too little.”
    “You’re a terrrrrible person.”
    “You are incapable of having good things.”
    “You are unworthy of forgiveness.”

    Any of this sounding familiar?

    Shame comes from many places. The two I want to concentrate on for this post: the hurtful words and actions of others and the afterglow of the things we have done.

    Things Said/Done To Us

    Let’s face it you guys, we live in a reality in which every person will be on the receiving end of toxic and poisonous labels/bullying/abuse/aggression/neglect/abandonment at LEAST once in our lives. These experiences leave scar tissue.  Fear comes rushing in like a river and our spirit somehow takes ahold of these experiences and starts up a melody inside. Like that hook, it seems like we can’t get rid to it no matter how hard we try. Every time these original wounds are re-experienced, in even small ways, shame starts singing the hook.

    The Afterglow of the Things WE Have Said and Done

    There is a particular scaring that takes place when we violate our own conscience and act outside of our own value system. I am not referring to conviction here. Conviction is a helpful experience that paves the way for repentance. This is the toxic mixture of a half lie/half truth. This is the pairing of the truth of your actions/words with the lies that you believe at your core based on the kinds of experiences listed above.

    So how do we get rid of it?

    We need a different hook. We need a different song to sing. This is the place where we change the radio station and open up to the possibility of a new melody.

    Sounds simple, right? It’s not. It’s simple in concept but takes incredible effort to carry out.

    Working through shame takes intentionality. It takes going against the deeply engrained neuronal pathways in search of a new and gentler way. We need a new song.

    Shame must be removed by the roots.
    In part two, we will talk about some practical ways to begin getting to the roots of shame and how to pull those roots up and to replace that shame hook with a melody of unfailing love. It all starts with surrender.
    Love is the new bar. Set it High.