Part One on Shame is here.
Shame says (with distorted thinking) that no one could love me as I am, so I need something on the outside to be whole and okay. What is it that we think we need “on the outside” to make us feel whole and okay on the inside? Shame says that worth is measured on the outside. God says worth is measured because of who He is and that He sees us as being valuable enough for Him to have sent His Son to die for us. That’s love—and He says we are lovable. Shame often feels hopeless and unlovable.
Shame is, typically, multigenerational. It’s a generational curse that needs to be broken. Shame-based people marry other shame-based people. What does this produce? Shame-based systems produce a lack of intimacy and a marital system of control, loneliness, and major dysfunction.
Symptoms of shame to watch for are: nagging, trying to provoke change in your husband or children, blaming him (or them) for how you think and react, living with the “if only’s,” being the adult caretaker, being super-responsible, being a joy addict, being the victim, trying to be “perfect,” and/or addictive/compulsive behavior.
· If you think you need to be in control of everyone’s personal behavior and their interactions, then you are operating out of shame.
· If you think you need to be right in every situation in which you are involved, then you operate out of shame.
· If you think you don’t have permission to make any mistakes and you try to cover up your mistakes, then you also are shame-based.
· If you think you can’t trust anyone, then the chances are that you are shame-based. Trust issues typically come from a sense of not “feeling” protected by your father as a little girl.
· If you tend to isolate and withdraw from people, you are probably shame-based.
Why do we project our own shame onto our husbands and others? We project it because it is our defense mechanism. We want to attribute the sense of ashamedness that we feel onto the other person so that we can alleviate our own pain.
When we get to the roots of our faulty system of thinking, pull those roots out, and look at the so-called “benefits” of remaining in this faulty system, we expose the lies. Exposing the lies brings freedom. One of the main roots that causes shame to be internalized is abandonment. A child does not know who she is without the mirroring that is done by her primary caretakers. Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse are other roots that cause shame. No wonder Satan has a heyday with our marriages and our families.
But, the good news is that, as women, we can be set free—because truth sets us free! When we are free, then we are able to use our POISE (Power Of Influence, Submission, and Encouragement) to bring deliverance to our marriages and to our families!
Shame is a process that needs to be “walked out.” It takes work; but it’s not impossible, because with God, all things are possible. Begin to take a look at your patterns of thinking. Write them down. Write down the nagging things that keep coming to your mind. Then, pray that God will lead you to a godly woman in your church who understands strongholds and will work with you to bring you to a place of deliverance. Shame is something to make your master—to be used as part of your testimony.
Finally, remember that God is deeply concerned about you. He loves you dearly, and He sees you as extremely valuable and worthwhile. His desire is to bring you to health and wholeness. Place your trust in Him, for He will never, never, never leave nor forsake You. May His lavish blessings be upon you, most beautiful woman of God!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject and how you've made shame work for you - instead of 'it' working you.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Part One on Shame is here.