The Soul of Shame

F*ck the shame!” – my psychiatrist

This is a direct quote from my CHRISTIAN psychiatrist that I’ve been seeing for the last 7 years. He is in love with Jesus and has his own shame story and, well, he just gets it. He even wrote a book on it.

The Soul of Shame

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Whether you grew up in a household that used shame as a manipulator or you are a Christian that is wondering why you feel so confused by the contrariness of Jesus vs. the church. What I mean by that is the story of Jesus is love, love, love. The story that we sometimes here from our churches, other Christians and religious parents is a completely different text and one that I have struggled with.

I grew up going to church with very religious parents, but I knew that something did not fit. I knew that I felt terrible going to church, I hated being told that God was not going to bless me if I missed my curfew and the over all sense that I was starting from a place of unworthiness in God’s eyes and doing it all wrong. I am convinced that this is not what it means to be under the umbrella of God.

I go back to the story.

As I sat with tears of frustration in his office once more, confused about all the work I have been doing to carve out a healthy & happy way of living, while at the same time I was feeling hatred and mistreatment from my God-fearing mother. This is a question that often comes up because I always felt like she was the one that was closer to God than I was – she prayed more, but she judged more. HMMM.

What my psychiatrist said to me next would change the way I looked about my whole shame story. He told me that he knew someone around my same age whose work was to show, share and teach love and people were so uncomfortable with the way he was teaching that they rallied against him and murdered him. His name was Jesus.

Goose bumps, right?

This is why his story is so darn amazing. His message was completely different than what the churches were teaching…and he told the priests that…..and they hated him. How could you hate someone teaching love? My thought is that people hate what they do not know. People whose belief defines them in the context of their own lives hate differences. I was different than my mom. I wanted different things. I think differently. I built my life differently. I believe that she does hate me for this and it is very scary for me if I could pick one emotion.

But, “F*ck the shame!”

Jesus gets it and I am living a life filled with so much love that He has provided. I’m pretty sure this is all that matters. Now if only I could remember this every time I feel shame creeping in.

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