Is All Shame Bad?

Shame. Such a powerful word and such a dangerous took if used to hurt yourself or others. When used wrongly or misunderstood, shame blocks us from living life fully.

Nowadays, people have rejected all shame as bad. It’s almost like a counter-revolution. But not all shame is bad. Healthy shame is quite wonderful because when used properly, its vulnerability and humility can lead to closeness. This is the shame that comes from taking accountability, for causing harm either by knowingly or unknowingly to another person with your words or actions. It’s the shame of disconnection.

One of the first emotions mentioned in the Bible is the blueprint of Life, which is a shame. Adam disconnected himself from his loving source of Life by doing something that God explicitly asked him not to do. God said to Adam. “It’s important that you don’t do this-don’t eat from this tree.” But Adam chose differently. Just like a child who does something that a parent asks him not to. Adam did the same. This was a disconnecting act in Adam’s relationship with God, his loving parent.

And that way okay. Adam was human, he made a mistake. The problem came afterwards. Instead of owning up to the mistake, to this hurtful gesture that caused the disconnection, he made excuses.

God asked Adam the question: “Where are you?

God wasn’t looking for Adam’s physical location. God has a highly attuned GPS for knowing where people are.

God was asking Adam, where are you in the spiritual sense? Are you going to choose vulnerability and humility and take accountability for your actions or not?

Adam chose not. Instead, he blamed his wife and God, “The wife, You gave me…”

Big mistake. His decision plunged the world into darkness that were still trying to dispel.

Everything would have looked differently had Adam owned up and taken accountability for his actions. If Adam would have owned up there would have been the ultimate connection, the ultimate act of intimacy, and the world would have been in a state of bliss.

We have this choice all the time. When we make mistakes, we can choose intimacy and closeness or distance and disconnection. We’re human, and making mistakes is part of our DNA. We can unwittingly say or do harmful, unkind things to people. We take actions that are not in alignment with our highest selves and wind up hurting those we love.

As a woman and mother. I have a million ways and opportunities to make mistakes. I made mistakes and hurt my husband and my children. I’ve let my shame almost ruin a great marriages and I’ve made mistakes that hurt my children. They have asked me questions that I was nervous and anxious about or answer with impatience. Or answered in a unkind way. It wasn’t until after I almost lost my husband and my children were raised that I chose to let go off my shame and connected to my family.

I’ve had friends and I have lost friends, because I chose to make them feel uncomfortable. Now I have friends that are kind and trustworthy that has never failed to bring connection.

Choose Connection Over Disconnection.

This is healthy shame. It causes you to say to yourself, “Hey, my humanness caused me to hurt that person. They don’t deserve that treatment from me.”

This leads to connection and your little world will look a whole lot different. People will feel loved in you presence. They will feel safe. And you will have the intimacy you desire.

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