When we have lived a shamed-based way of living for so long, letting go of this way of living and thinking is scary. It leaves us feeling vulnerable and wondering who we really are. Eventually, parents’ “you are” statements to children become internalized as “I am” identity concepts. This, along with abuse, causes such self-shaming that it becomes who we are….and this painful cycle of shame continues, gaining momentum with each passing day.
When we begin our journey of healing we often feel that we will never escape from its destructive pattern. It has become so much a part of us that we feel lost and vulnerable without it…we question then who we are. I remember so well the feelings of “who am I”? Who was I then if I wasn’t who I had lived my life believing I was? It’s a scary place to be. I remember one time when it came to picking a paint color for my bedroom, something that should have been so simple, caused me to come undone….I had no idea what my favorite color even was!! I didn’t know myself, who I really was…I was so used to being who and what every one else thought I should be….praise God I am no longer there….but it took time, it took days ,months even years of floundering in this recovering process.
It is hard, humbling work. It can be a slow, difficult and often painful process….but we are not alone, with the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 40:31) we will soar on the wings of eagles…run and not grow weary….[or at least] walk and not faint. I can honestly say that there are fewer “fainting” days and more “running” and “soaring” days than there used to be.
And I have learned that living in the recovering process means traveling a new path and following a new map….who you truly are emerges over time….it doesn’t happen over night….as I began the journey of healing there were many floundering days…yet, over time as I continued to heal who I really am began to emerge… As children we were taught to turn away from truth and evade it…but recovering from binding shame begins when we turn toward truth and embrace it….the truth about our families and truth about ourselves.
1 I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
2 I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
3 Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.
4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
7 For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!