The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. ~Joseph Campbell
Over 20 years ago, I had one of those life-jolting discoveries that significantly changed everything. I identified the demon in my life – Toxic Shame. Call it evil spirit or simply functional spirit in you that seems to be controlling your thoughts and your emotions unconsciously (unaware) while destroying your freedom to choose. It is so subtle that we tend to conclude that “we didn’t have a choice.” We become people pleasers. Shame also breed envy, jealousy, social climbing, and grandiosity seeking honor from our community. Toxic Shame is cunning, powerful, and confusing. Its power resides in its darkness and secretiveness. For such a long time I didn’t understand shame as the source of false self. False Self is what you portray that you want others to see as honorable.
Because our culture is based on shame and honor… our shame pushes us to seek honor, grandiosity, and something extraordinary. There is nothing wrong with honor and all that wonderful pursuits in life. However, shame will keep you locked in that cave and eventually die there. This is why it’s so hard for shame to praise others and honor them because of if you do, it’s unconsciously saying you are a failure. so self-destruction oy yourself. This is where subtlety is what we need to be alert for… Human beings are complex beings… that instead of seeing themselves as fearfully and wonderfully made, they see themselves “not enough” and climb over the fence trying to reach the greener grass on the other side.
Healing the Shame in you will free you from the bondage of the soul. Shame can make you either a hot shot or self-destructive. Self-destructive deceives us… we think it was meant to be why things are falling apart like your relationships, marriage, and your children, but in truth it is running away from your own dreams. Your dreams are within you… not on greener grass across the street.
I became aware of the gigantic destructive power of shame that had used and abused my life. I found that I had been bound by shame all my life. It ruled me like an addiction. I acted it out. I covered it up in subtle and not so subtle ways… in hindsight, I see it clearly with a 20/20 vision. But while I was controlled by shame it kept me locked up in a cave… afraid I’ll die [in 30 days] with nothing to boast for, so I pushed myself to climb higher and higher and dug deeper and deeper just to feel good enough. Shame is an unconscious expert that knows how to destroy your life.
Be a hero. Be someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. David killed Goliath with a slingshot. He actually picked up five smooth stones (prayers) from a stream (aligned with the Holy Spirit), put them in his shepherd’s bag (faith like a mustard seed), walking staff (the Word of God), and walked up to face the enemy and killed him in the Name of the LORD of Hosts.