Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Shame vs. Guilt

I listened to the first two podcasts at the Connexions Classroom and loved them! Some of it was hard to hear because of how difficult things are at home right now but still good good stuff.

The second podcast is about Shame vs. Guilt and a few things stuck out to me:

Guilt is a motivator for me to change. Shame is a motivator for me to stay stuck.

I liked this because it helps give me another tool to identify shame in myself. I am familiar with some ways that shame manifests in my life (I think we all have some shame) by the "I am a bad person" thought process (for me the default shame mechanisms is tied to physical beauty standards - which are hog-wash). I hadn't really thought measuring shame by whether or not I feel stuck - but I have recently felt stuck and I thought this was good insight.

I felt stuck for over a week when I was trying to do something that didn't feel right but was upon the advice of my therapist. Thinking back I think I was trapped in shame because it wasn't working and I was thinking I must be a bad wife and a bad christian because this was his advice and it is failing miserably so I am doing it wrong. Now that I've let go of following that advice I feel free and unstuck and motivated and I think that is an indication of good!

Another thing that was shared:

When I do something that is in violation to what I believe or what I know to be right for me. I automatically, instinctively, feel bad so if I’m not willing to take responsibility and I want to blame or accuse or hide from it or make it less than it really was, it will move right into shame. If I choose to account for it and move into a proactive response around it and clean it up and make things right then it will stay in a place of remorse and guilt and regret and will motivate me to do something different.

What a great action item to help me stay out of shame!! TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!! There is so much I could say about how I wish my husband would do this - living with someone stuck in shame is a unique kind of hell. However, when I first heard it I thought of myself. In my patriarchal blessing I am instructed to repent daily. I've always pondered on that and I've never been very good at it. We are taught in church to repent often, even daily. Maybe THIS is what God intends when he tells us to repent all the time. Maybe it isn't about us being wicked but it is his guideline to help us stay out of shame and in a healthy pattern of taking responsibility when we feel guilt. Repenting every day is a loving commandment of a God who doesn't want us to stew or let things fester or have us sink down into shame but he wants us to acknowledge our faults, own our mistakes, and move onward and upward. He exhorts us to repents every day so we can feel the joy of a clean slate, of a pure heart, and be free of the chains of shame!

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