Carl Rogers, an American psychologist, said that what is most personal is most general. I saw that he was saying to me, “You are not alone in your loss, your flaws, and pain.”
Our culture promotes shame. Shame inhibits us from being free to live an authentic life. I can’t overemphasize the impact on the issue of shame because it’s destroying our relationships. We have become fakes, phonies, and hypocrites. And religion makes people hide and lie. Because we think vulnerability is a sign of weakness. Untrue! Vulnerability is the path to love, joy, belonging, intimacy, trust, innovation and creativity. It is the doorway to everything we are hungry for.
Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. Along our journey, people and events flow into us, and we are created of everywhere and everyone we have passed. Each event, each person, changes us in some way. Even in times of drought, we are still moving and growing, but it is during seasons of rain that we expand the most. When water flows from all directions, sweeping at terrifying speed, chasing against rocks, spilling over boundaries. These are painful times, but they enable us to carry burdens we could never have thought possible. It is in the waters of struggles and uncertainty that we give ourselves permission to be vulnerable.
As I watched Family Hour on YouTube with Senator Uduch and her guest, Ipich Williams, I was so moved by his vulnerability and courage. When we find the courage to share our experiences and the compassion to hear others tell their stories, we force shame out of hiding, we are healed. For we are as sick as our secrets.
I read somewhere, “Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises, maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up.” True Self is courageous, persistent, values integrity and is alive (living from the heart). We were to love others as we love ourselves, and be strong leaders. We can’t love in shame.
I would not be free to share my life with you these past years had I not let Jesus Christ into my life. You see, when I found my true self she was covered underneath pride and arrogance. Deeply wounded with a broken heart, I realized that all the knowledge could not heal the wounds. Only Jesus could. His unconditional love chased away my fears and shame and let me out into a life of freedom. He taught me to forgive the unforgivable, to love the unlovely, and to bless those that curse me. I’m still hopelessly flawed as I learn to live from the heart, but I don’t let that stop me from pursuing excellence whether I’m reading Nora Roberts latest novel or Steve McVeigh’s Grace Walk.
I’m not ashamed to be poor. I’m not afraid to be a single woman in a society that ostracizes single women because of shame. I am His Beloved and on me His favor rests.
God directs the way of a river. For when He moves, the river becomes waterfall.