The Power of Shame
I believe that the cause of it is, worry. I believe the worry comes from what other people will think about you. Worrying about what others think stems from comparison. Comparing yourself to someone is a result of judgement. Not judgement of others, but judgement of yourself.
Shame causes unease. It causes us to critique everything about ourselves. The way we look, how we sit, how we eat, even how we act around certain people. It will cause us to review and rewind in our heads, conversations, actions and even short encounters with people. When we review it, we critique and suggest we should have done something different that would have aided on a positive note or even if it was positive, it could have been even greater moment.
Shame will cause you not to move forward, it will cause you to not speak up, it will cause you to speak up in anger as self defense, it will cause you to be on the move so that you don't allow yourself to think of the guilt that dwells within shame.
You may have:
▪Cheated on a husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend
▪Lost your virginity
▪Gave your body to yet another man/ woman
▪Broke your sobriety
▪A child(ren) out of wedlock
▪An abusive parent
•An absent parent for a season yet trying to develop a relationship with a child(ren) you aren't too familiar with
▪Anger issues that cause you to do wrong to yourself and others
▪Feelings of worthlessness
The list can go on to 1000s of pages, which helps because you can see that shame is something many people have or are suffering from. You're not alone in how you feel.
You will either be ashamed of someone or ashamed of yourself.
In my own transparency.. I'll share how I have dealt with shame.
I met a guy who I really loved. He was very funny and sweet. He was a Christian. He led me to a deeper relationship with God. We talked about God and life in general on the phone all day. And if we weren't on the phone, we would be on video chat. There were times where we would fall asleep together on video chat lol. I remember waking up one time to seeing him sleep on his end. I thought we were meant to be. We would do bible studies and talk about God and His Word very much. It seemed so perfect right lol...not quite...
In the midst of that we both had a lust addiction. We would send each other graphic pictures of ourselves. I had a pornography addiction for about 2 or 3 years. I slowed down on it but I was still very addicted but connecting with him lead me back to it heavily. We would do sexually explicit things through conversation on the phone. I went on a visit to LA and we didnt have sex but I did touch him in ways I wish now never took place. The one thing I could say about this guy that was very different, than any other guy I dealt with and that was that, he had a very strong conviction in his heart for God. This guy would fall very hard in sin but when He did, he was so remorseful that at one point he broke down heavily. I didn't grasp the conviction, but I am now very familiar with it. I understand now as a stronger woman in Christ.
The last time we fell together in lust, he told me we should take a break. So I agreed because I wanted to respect his wishes. I genuinely didn't understand. But I was in church and a preacher spoke on sin and from that message I knew we were doing the right thing. When the break lasted longer than expected, I respected it because a break in my mind was a temporary separation. I felt he genuinely loved me so when the time was right we would connect again.
Little did I know it would be permanent. I don't remember the exact timing but I log on Facebook and see him with a woman. She's smiling and they are smiling together. I immediately break down as I watch the picture of him and her get blurrier and blurrier from tears swelling up in my eyes. I block him I just couldn't take the jolt in my heart every time I saw a picture of them together. I saw him on Instagram and realized he proposed to her. Sometime later he calls me and explains how this wasn't planned. Me being loyal to "friendship", we had some conversations about this girl. One conversation he told me she was a virgin and he was just so intrigued and took pride in that and went on and on about her. I stayed quiet. He realized how he was just going on and on and told me he wasn't comparing her to me or anything and he wasn't trying to make me feel bad. I just shrugged it off but deep down inside it felt like a heavy load of bricks were being placed on my chest one by one until my chest fractured. When we got off the phone, I compared my life to hers. I compared my life to his. He has someone he loves and I am alone are the type of thoughts I had consume time and time after. She has him and she's never had sex. I was in so much shame and allowed comparison to sneak in heavily.
I was consumed with the shame of losing my virginity plus many other thoughts consumed my mind.
I had wished I had a better upbringing. I wished I had more guidance. I wished I had more worth to save myself for marriage. I wished and wished my life wasn't a complete wreck.
I met a new guy and he pursued me to no end. He wasn't a Christian but he fed the empty parts of my heart with vanity. I wanted to feel better about life and not experience another shameful moment of someone leaving me. I decided, I made him wait long enough for sex. I mean why not it was my birthday. Nine months later my belly began to grow daily from carrying life in my womb. Once again shame of wishing I had never opened that door to sexual impurity came flourishing in. Wishing I had better examples. Wishing I had made better choices with my body. These thoughts led me to believe that being consistently cheated on was just as good as I would get. I would just brush blatant disrespect under a rug because I couldn't fathom raising a kid born into separation So for 2 years because of guilt and shame I allowed cheating to take place. I was ashamed for allowing it, but the shame of being a single mother was what I wanted to avoid, so I stayed longer than I should have. I just had to to let it go and be free so I did.
After being single for a year after that break up, I got involved with someone else. I assumed because we had known each other for years that I would be taken seriously. I also felt like I was entitled after waiting for a year with no one being entertained in my life. That entitlement was comoflauged shame. I allowed celibacy to be my identity. I felt because it was rare to wait for sex. So I thought that a man would finally want me because I wasn't lustful outwardly.
Little did I know I was being used to fill a man's void of being cheated on and his needs not being met by his girlfriend and kinda became a side chick. I was just used for the things that he felt she lacked in the relationship. He knew me as a devoted Christian woman but I know eventually guilt and shame settled in as once again, I gave my body to someone only to end up hurt, disappointed and feeling used.
Since then, I have been celibate and single for almost 2 years in May 2019. I realize shame crept in a long time ago. I am almost 27 years old and Shame and guilt was introduced to me way before teenage years. I somehow would blame myself for the judgement of my parents. I felt as if I was always the problem. If I had done things better or differently then maybe my mother would have been happier. She would treat me differently. Not knowing then, but it was just the best way she knew to parent me and my brother. Her words were very powerful and some of them weren't the best of words. My father was absent for most of my life and I always wanted my mom and dad to be together.
As things became the norm and far as living in a single parent home, it always lowered my expectations from anyone. I never expected anyone to do for me. I never expected much except for what people chose to give which was most of the time the bare minimum or the last of their energy that they worked so hard for others to give it to. At the end of the day, what people did or did not do resulted in it being my burden to bear and my fault for not making it better.
My baby boy just turned 4 years old last February and shame still arises when me and my sons dad argue. It tries to rise up when people try and correct my child without my consent. When I feel overwhelmed as a mother, I always revert back to me making the wrong choices with my body.
The blessing in it all is that now I understand where my shame came from. I know now that it's a trick of the enemy to make me walk in shame so I can't live my best life in what ever area I have shame in. I've learned that now that I know now I can combat these thoughts.
To combat these thoughts. You have to feed yourself positivity. I tell myself I'm an outstanding mother, I pray for my son and for those that belittle me as a mother or woman in general. I feed myself truth instead of the lies that come from guilt and shame. I urge you to do that as well.
The word of God is full of truth and knowledge of who you are.
I spend time in the bible to combat the lies of satan.
I refill myself all the time by speaking in tongues in my prayer time with the Lord. My spirit intercedes for me and soaks into my soul the things my mind and heart can't diagnose or interpret.
I have to fast from social media at times and food and water.
I empty myself from all distractions and the main source of life which is food and water to connect with God. He always encourages me to keep pushing forward. He shows and displays His love for us consistently. We just have to get in the place to receive it and hear it. It's very easy to hear from God when you are intentional about it.
I do have a blog on how to hear from God. Check it out.
I'll create one about fasting and the benefits and necessity for it.
The more you feed yourself love, the more you will fill up on it. The less you become susceptible to listening to the lies that stem from shame.
We all make mistakes.
We aren't perfect.
We are all flawed.
We all need support.
We all need guidance.
We all need grace.
We all need comfort.
We all need mercy.
We all need forgiveness.
We all need God.