Friday, March 25, 2011

"The difference between guilt and shame is very clear—in theory. We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are. A person feels guilt because he did something wrong. A person feels shame because he is something wrong. We may feel guilty because we lied to our mother. We may feel shame because we are not the person our mother wanted us to be."
                                         -Lewis Smedes, psychologist and educator

     I should be happy that I came across this quote.  I should be happy that, after searching for meaning and just finding more questions, after receiving revelations from heaven only to find myself groping in the fog again, I can finally get off of the merry-go-round.  I should be happy that I can leave behind the mountain that I've been compassing day after day for e.le.ven years.  I should be happy that, at last, the mineral truth that has cruelly escaped me is now gleaming like gold dust right before my eyes. 

     But I'm not happy.  I'm not happy at all

     Not happy because I have to confess something that I never once had an inkling about.  I have to admit to thinking, feeling a certain way that I had no clue even existed in my world.  I'd heard people talk about it, seen it on made for tv movies, read it in scripture, even sang of it . But I had no idea about shame.


     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.

     Well, I'm pretty sick of Plan B.  I just want to get focused and move ahead. I'm not really sure how to pray about this.  Don't have it all straight in my head what my counter attack will be. All I know is,  I've uncovered something. There is a lot more digging to be done.  A lot to examine here.  Like I said, gold dust.  But any miner who didn't want to have his lode robbed, kept his find under his hat, or more safely, under his tongue.   So that's me now.  I've stumbled upon a gold mine and I can't really be too excited about it.  It's probably the best thing that's happened to me since 1999, but I have to be very careful about what I say, about letting myself get carried away, or I'll miss this.  The enemy would like nothing better than to see that happen.
      I don't know when I will be able to shout my victory from the mountain tops.  I sure hope it's way sooner than much later. Until that time, I will content myself with the words of the Lord as revealed to the prophet Isaiah, who, interestingly, enough seemed well acquainted with shame.
   Fear not: for thou shalt not be ashamed:
   neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame:
   for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shall not remember  
   the reproach of thy widowhood anymore.  For thy Maker is thine husband;
   the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel;
   the G-d of the whole earth shall He be called.
                                    -Isaiah 54:4-5


Kyle said...

I'm thrilled because he is faithful to complete the works HE began in you. It is out of your control. its not dependent on you. he didn't open your eyes to leave you in the dark.

eXcellence said...

Amazing!!! You are right where you need to be so that God can be all He IS! Like I am always reminded God doesn't need our help and just wants us to be the princesses we are and rest while He fights for us. We just have to move out of the way for that to happen! I love you, I'm so happy for you!

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