Chasing Inspiration

Friday, January 26, 2018


  1. Vets with emergency hours who can talk me down when Velcro Dog is sick in the middle of the night.
  2. Community. When you find that person/group of people who get you, it feels like coming home.
  3. Sunshine that streams through the windows and creates little pockets of heat for Velcro Dog to nap in. 


I haven't blogged in a while, and that's because I've been tearing my novel apart and putting it back together. More on that on my author blog later. 

I've been thinking a lot about shame recently. I've been doing some research for my short series on what I feel are false beliefs within some flavors of Christianity. I have two more posts to write, and they will happen once my revisions are submitted to my editor. 

In the meantime, I've been thinking a lot about shame.  It's been a theme for me in the last couple of months. Someone may say something to me, something passive aggressive or casually judgemental, and I start to feel a fist close around my lungs. And my spirit shrinks, trying to take up as little space as possible. Any joy I felt prior to that comment leaches away.

The worst is when someone I care about, someone who cares about me, makes these comments and dismisses them because they don't understand why I enjoy certain things, -- Marvel movies for example -- or why I engage in social media. Or why I blog something for the entire world to see. Since they don't understand and their personal belief is that these things are a waste of time or worse, they feel emboldened to use shame to communicate their judgement of me.

And I deflate as shame presses in on me. My entire being feels...lost.

Shame is a powerful feeling. It encompases our entire identity.
Research indicates that when we feel shame, we globally de-value our entire sense of self. It is basically as if our physiology is telling us that (in our heads and hearts) we are a rather worthless person.  (Shame, Shame, Shame) 
That feeling you get where you feel you're completely unworthy and worthless - that's shame. And it eats away at the very core of who we are. So what can we do to counteract shame? According to all the reading and work I've done around shame, one of the keys is to become an integrated and authentic person. 

Shame is ubiquitous in our world. Parents shame children to get them to quickly fall in line. Spouses shame each other, either to mask their own pain or to get their way. Teachers shame students. Employers shame employees. Abusers use shame to make their abuse about the other person and keep them quiet. Christians shame fellow Christians and people outside their faith. Countries shame other countries. It's an epidemic. Why? My opinion, because shame works quickly to get people to shut up and step in line. It's a powerful tool, but one that should never be used.

Shame is all about identity. It cuts to our core and makes us doubt everything we think we know about ourselves. Of course it's going to garner quick results, but it devastates people in the process. There is no building up a person where shame is involved.

I'm learning to connect to my identity and to listen to that quiet voice inside myself that holds the truth about who I am. I'm re-entering therapy with a focus on identity. And to process some of my shame triggers. It's time to untangle the threads of shame from the tapestry of my life. I need to stop shame from eating away at me.

I hope your life is free of shame. If it isn't, it's important to figure out your shame triggers and false beliefs that surround them. You can do this in a few ways:

Photo by frankieleon via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

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