I use to wear her the same way my fair skinned friends wear freckles.
Shame was my uniform, no- more straight jacket. As with uniforms and all things prison similar- it wasn’t till I broke free that I understood how I ended up her victim.
Early on the anger around me, the punishment I endured was proof positive it wasn’t my behavior but ME that was the MISTAKE.
Fear filled. Shame hemmed in, pinned to the false belief -everyone knew how messy, loud, lazy, sinful and flawed I was, shame reinforced her bad ass lies. I wasn’t enough. I needed to be different, try harder, do more and figure out how to fit in and make everyone happy. And so I got busy and soon shame wasn’t merely my straight jacket she was my slave master driving me to work harder , be smarter, better, neater, faster, funnier, different-.
When you wear shame for a season it’s one thing- when it becomes your second skin-healing demands burning your entire closet.
I’m not hemmed in by shame today and rarely do I find my badass that loves God slipping into the hell of unworthiness.
How did I break free- find a new wardrobe?
Writing has been the vehicle that allowed me to spill all my emotions safely allowing me plenty of time to learn that feeling wasn’t the enemy and running and numbing myself wasn’t living. Slowly I saw shame for the liar she is. I accepted my kinda messy sometimes impatient often distracted and mostly loving self. I stumbled into the arms of empathy and well I’m not letting this hunk go- he’s helping me- teaching me how to be kind and loving even accepting of my flaws and personality blemishes. Self love came slow because I’d become convinced there was something wrong with ME not the false beliefs I clung to and the people who had become my shakers’ and were of course -shamed by others.
I started breathing. I stepped out of the prison, straight jacket; silence and secrets around my imperfections. I let of wanting to be someone else and that’s not to say I’m not tempted to buy into shames lies; I’m not enough, not young enough, feminine enough, smart enough or oh yeah neat and organized enough.
But as you can tell from the photo above I’m reveling in my new role as ambassador of badasses that love God and strut their imperfect selves for others to see – giving permission to anyone who is still imprisoned in shame’s lies and has yet to embrace and love their wonderful, flawed, inappropriate, isn’t always accepted or approved of self.