Many things we like to keep to ourselves, especially if it’s particularly embarrassing or shameful. And, of course, there is some wisdom here as not everyone is safe to share the dark and personal aspects of our story with. At the same time, we let shame get the best of us when we feel we must hide and not share important parts of our story with anyone.
Hiding is the natural response whenever we sin or simply do something we later regret. And if we could, we would not expose our shame to anyone.
And we often justify this by believing others can’t truly understand or feeling that we don’t want to burden them with our issues.
While this might be true at times, often this is simply our justification to keep hiding. And the longer we stay in the dark, the more our shame continues to grow.
The antidote to shame is bringing it out into the light with trusted others. Deep healing takes place as we share the good, the bad, and the ugly of our story with each other.
There’s not an expectation for complete understanding. And this is not needed for healing to take place.
What is needed is presence, love, and acceptance – to know we’re still worthy of love and belonging despite our past. This is not to downplay what we did or the consequences of our actions. But it’s not letting our past define us either.
Shame is not something we can simply work hard enough on our own to put behind us. It’s relational by its very nature and it takes open and honest relationships with others to find true healing.
In the end, we allow ourselves to become isolated and ultimately taken out when we don’t bring our shame into the light with trusted others.
While it’s risky and painful, discover the antidote to shame by sharing your story with those who can see you with eyes full of grace and truth.