-Lewis Smedes, psychologist and educator
But I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all.
Hello. My name is Stacey. And I'm ashamed of myself.
I'm thinking back on my mediocre life (don't "awwww" here, it is what it is). I'm, thinking back on all the "words" I received, all the journal and blog entries, all the times when I thought I had my Eureka! moment and all the times that I still came up short. It is painfully clear that the reason I was never able to convert inertia into momentum is because I felt guilty about who I am. G-d did not create mediocrity. He doesn't even tolerate it. So where the heck did it come from and why do I have it? It occured in the garden with Adam and Eve's feeble attempts to cover their nakedness with leaves. Brilliant.
So why am I surprised? It's not like I didn't know that. It's not like I haven't thought that before. 'I wish I were more like...' or 'I'm really not liking that I am this way and not that way' are phrases that I've a million times. But I have never yet used the word shame. I thought a basic dislike of who I am and how God made me was just a silly sentiment everyone has and has to get over from time to time. Not until now do I realize that what I have is more than just a general lack of self-esteem or an unhealthy attachment to the unattainable standards of a fallen society. What I have is a serious infection of the worst kind, an infection of the mind, passed on to me by my foreparents. An infection that causes me to believe that in the sight of God, I am dishonorable, improper, disappointing (ed), hopeless, ridiculous, a disgrace.
Shame is, perhaps, the strongest emotion that I've never felt because it pulls upon the heart like the moon on the tide, but is as imperceptible as that lunar force. You can't see the energy that shifts the waters from bottom to top. You only see the effects...ten foot tsunami swells that leave behind the devestation of half-assedness.
Actually, it was sinister. Devilishly sinister. Satan knew exactly what he was doing with that precious pair in the Garden. If the all out frontal attack on trust and relationship didn't work, then the slow gangrenous attack on the psyche would surely fix the plot. If disobedience was the first sin, shame was definately the first iniquity, the first time things were thrown out of balance. No balance, no focus. No focus, no progress. No progress, no victory. That was Hell's Plan B. And I fell for it.
'We feel shame because of who we are'. This guy, Smedes, probably doesn't know Jesus. (From the way I act sometimes, you would think I didn't know Him either.) Adam and Eve knew God, so they knew who they were. They knew whose they were. The problem lay in that they came to disapprove of who they were. I make this point because, if this man knew Jesus, his statement would read thusly, 'We feel shame because of who we think and/or believe we are.' The thing is G-d tells us who we are to Him, who we used to be before redemption and who we become afterward. And even when we were in our worst state, dispicable, hateful and farthest away from His touch we were still VALUED. We may have been unworthy, but we were never worthless! This is a distinction in thought and/or belief that we're not supposed to make. That's how Plan B works.