17 January 2020

How Shame Really Impacts Us

I am bad.

I am dirty.

I am unlovable.

I am not enough the way I am.

Something is wrong with me.

Shame - it is a feeling that is part of the human condition, but inherent to the experience of it is the way it makes us avoid talking about it or facing it.

I know shame has crept into my own life and hurt me. I felt ashamed when a family member made insensitive comments about my eating habits and physical appearance. Shame hit me like a ton of bricks when I was sexually assaulted on a school bus in high school. Shame whispered at my heart when I made poor choices with a boyfriend, or when I compared myself to the standards of other women.

I hate this feeling.

It is dark and scary, like I am bad or dirty or a lesser person because of something I did or something that was done to me.

Shame is a powerful, destructive force that can twist the way we see ourselves, our place in the world, and our worth and value before God. Whereas guilt says I did something wrong, shame tells us that we are bad, that there is something wrong with us.

Shame has made an impressive comeback in culture, psychology, and popular media. Work by well-known researchers such as Brene Brown are helping men and women name and face the role that shame plays in our individual stories. People are starting to talk about something every human across the globe wrestles with.

But how do we start?

Head over to Grotto Network to read more . . .

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