Shame is like a dragon. It’s powerful, terrifying, and seems impossible to defeat. We cower in fear, run in terror, and do all we can to avoid it. We can feel it’s fiery breath as we hide. The warrior that once lived in our hearts shrivels and shrinks.
How can we defeat this thing, this shame, that makes us hide? Brene Brown* defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” It keeps us in isolation because we fear someone finding out that we really, truly aren’t enough. We fear that our own brokenness will be exactly what we fear it is: proof that we are not worthy of love.
Shame keeps us silent and alone. So how do we slay the dragon? How do we rise up as conquerors? There are 3 things shame needs to survive: silence, secrecy, and judgment. Therefore, to defeat this dragon, we need the opposite of these things.
We need to be vulnerable. We need to be authentic. When we are, shame dies. This should be done with safe people, people you love and trust. It allows us to connect, to be loved, and to lay our burdens down.
We also need truth—real, authentic, loving truth. The truth that comes from Truth itself. The truth that you are worthy, you are loved, and you belong. The truth that you are precious and beloved. That there is nothing that can separate you from the love of Christ. You are not alone.
This week, tell someone you trust if shame attacks you. Reach out. Bring your shame to God. In writing or out loud, tell Him the shame that is weighing on you. Lay it at His feet. Then speak Truth over yourself.
(NOTE: If you don’t feel like you have a safe place, we at Witheos would love to talk with you or connect you with someone. You are not alone)
*Brene Brown is the Best-Selling author of “I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)” a book about shame and how to defeat it