shame: recognising a painful soul burden we needn’t carry

Shame became my soul companion from childhood. It sat like a stone in my sad heart. I didn’t have words for it for years. It was like a bitter root on the tongue, making me numb, eating away at speech and causing me to hide away.

I sought refuge in many places: curling up small on chilly park benches, scrambling over precarious building sites, walking through woods, hiding in my bedroom and escaping into books.

Shame and fear get written on a child’s soul before they have the words to know what they are and how lifelong destructive they can be. I retreated into myself, chewed on my clothes, had an eating disorder and ate garden plants.

An inner longing rises up to be comforted and unconditionally loved, to have a home and family and experiences different to this. To be accepted just as we are. To not be hurt. To feel free to spread our wings.

We ache with the weight of unshed tears. We can remain silent and dry-eyed for years at things that touch others, who are bewildered because we don’t join in, and confused when a tiny spark makes us overreact to things.

β€œHe will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever.” – Revelation 21:4 TLB

Because we’ve experienced painful events that jump out at us at unexpected moments. We’ve had our fragile hearts broken and we don’t know how to fix them again. We swallow back the pain, repress, suppress and refuse to entertain the memories, even as they throb and pulse through our veins.

We want to be held. Safely held. We want more than anything to be loved, accepted and understood. To know we are worthy and we belong. But we look in all the wrong places and we accept bad people and embraces because we don’t value ourselves at all.

**To read the rest of this post, please follow me over to the Beloved Prodigal blog where I am sharing my words today. Just click here to join me there.** Thank you! πŸ™‚

6 thoughts on “shame: recognising a painful soul burden we needn’t carry”

    1. Dear Joyce, it’s a joy to see you here again, my friend! I do hope and pray you are doing as well as possible. Thank you so much for leaving such a sweet, encouraging comment! I really appreciate you taking the time and trouble to respond to this post, especially as I often feel a bit raw and vulnerable when God asks me to share about my past. Blessings, love and hugs to you! xoxo <3

  1. Dear Joy,
    I am so grateful for your beautiful prayer. I left a comment over at Beloved Prodigal also, but wanted to say something here too because your words are such a blessing. I pray that the Lord is so close to you today, as you have opened your heart so tenderly to share with us all. Your words brought such an encouragement to my heart today. Much love and hugs to you my dear friend! xoxo

    1. Dear Bettie, how lovely of you to leave a comment here too! I’m so thankful to have blessed you today. God knows just when a word will have an impact, doesn’t He? This has been a very tiring day but also uplifting in lots of ways. And I think my soul has grown calmer from the beautiful reactions to this rather vulnerable post. Much love and hugs gratefully returned to you, dear friend! xoxo πŸ’œ

  2. Thank you for writing so vulnerably what many feel, Joy. I know these posts are hard, but they are so needed for hurting ones to remember they’re not alone. This paragraph was especially a comforting reminder to me – “Shame has met its match. We are in the process of being made whole again in Christ. Though it might take time to fully see and accept who we really are in Him and to work through our woundedness and pain. We are adopted into God’s family. We can stand strong because He gives us grace to begin again.” Thank you. Sometimes the process can get so wearisome, but God is faithful and He has and will always have the ultimate victory over shame. Love and hugs to you!

    1. Dear Trudy, yes these posts are hard to write about and share but also somehow cathartic to release a bit more of the tenacious grip which guilt and shame have on us. The key thing is to be able to offer others a “you, too?” moment of recognition and an awareness of help and hope on the horizon. I’m so pleased you had a positive takeaway from these words! I agree with how very wearisome the recovery and healing process can be, but we always have hope of seeing change and having our mindset renewed by God’s grace. Praise God for His endless mercy and faithfulness! Oh yes, yes, yes: “He has and will always have the ultimate victory over shame”! Well said, my friend. Love and (victory) hugs (high 5’s?) to you too! xo πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

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