Shame can erode your confidence and self-worth, your desire to connect meaningfully with your friends and family. It will set up a destructive cycle of comparison, competition and unhealthy coping. Join me for these 4 common lies on The Good Men Project. Just click here. If you feel that shame is holding you back, let’s […]
Join me today for a conversation about shame with Todd Littleton. And check out this post for a HUGE sale on my books, THIS WEEKEND ONLY!
I’ve been reluctant to share anything spiritual or vulnerable lately, for fear of it being ripped to shreds by ‘the world’ or over-analyzed by Christians. But vulnerability is beautiful and it inspires me to do better; to be better. I’ve been walking around wearing shame like an overcoat. Each shortcoming and mistake has added to the weight of that coat, like one of those little playground pebbles. I took the pebbles at first, placing them one-by-one into the pockets of my coat. I was able to ignore them and continue to function, but even tiny rocks become heavy after a while.
As a writer, I am constantly submitting some part of my soul to someone else for approval. It’s a bizarre feeling. To some extent, it’s an occupational hazard, but it isn’t just writers who experience it. We’ve all been criticized by difficult people at some point. Most of us can think of that one bad boss, most ministers I know have experienced critical congregations, and if you’re a parent, surely you’ve felt the glaring stare of a stranger in the grocery store. We’ve all been asked to share some part of our personal lives with people, only to have it picked apart by less than gracious folks. And for me, it is part of the daily grind.
This is my world.
Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I have loved that quote for a long time, but Jesus laid out the concept in Matthew 25, long before Mark Twain.
Lindsey stepped into the circle with me. She recognized my shame and fear. She knew my painful secrets. In the face of shame, my wife became the voice of grace. She dared anyone holding stones to first look in the mirror before they threw the first at me. When others pushed me out, she pulled me closer. Grace has a way of doing just that: when judgment divides, grace draws near.
I wanted out of the situation. I didn’t want a new baby. I didn’t want to live with my mother-in-law. I didn’t want the life I had at the moment. The future seemed oppressive.
Up to this point I was a birth junkie. A trained doula. A woman that gave birth naturally with midwives and doulas. I loved babies. I loved being pregnant. I loved giving birth. I loved all of my children fiercely. It was safe to say I was staunchly pro-life.
So naturally what followed all of this fear was shame.