Thursday, April 12, 2012

Toxic Shame

Living our lives in complete and total truth, is one of the hardest things to do.  Why?  Well, first of all, as a nation, we do not believe in absolute truth anymore.  It seems we have taken God out of everything in order to serve our own purpose.  The Bible says, He gave them their request, but sent leanness to their souls (Psalm 106:15).  Consequently we have created our own sense of right and wrong, which leaves every man doing what is right in his own eyes, (Judges 17:6); a prescription for failure.  We have mastered this way of life, and told ourselves that God’s truth simply does not matter. 

It all started in the Garden.  From the beginning of time, man lived in perfect harmony with God, the animals and nature.  God gave Adam and Eve the law of the land which they did not heed.  Consequently, through one man’s disobedience sin and shame entered into the world.  Suddenly aware of their nakedness, they covered themselves with fig leaves and were removed from the Garden.  As a result, we are still using those fig leaves today to cover our shame; only now they are called addictions.
As a society, we have given ourselves over to abortion, divorce, sexual promiscuity, divination and idolatry, just to name a few.  Therefore, our spiritual inheritance passed from one generation to the next has caused shame to dominate our culture now more than any other time in history.  Shame comes through many different avenues but whether it is incest, molestation, rejection, unworthiness, fear or abandonment, it is toxic and debilitating. 

It is a proven fact that shame is the number one contributor to addiction.  Eighty percent of society knows someone who is struggling with an addiction.  People are medicating their shame with shopping, drugs and alcohol, over eating, exercise, perfectionism, pride and control.  It is an attempt to medicate their pain, but only a temporary solution. 
Remember, Jesus came as the second Adam, to pay the price for all sin for all mankind.  He said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. But I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).  Often times, fear and wrong thinking makes one believe if they have strong boundaries, if they voice their pain, if they get angry or if they show weakness, they will lose the love of those closest to them.  They fear the truth will bring them more rejection and abandonment.  This dysfunctional attitude cripples those who suffer from toxic shame.  Further, it is perpetuated by the lack of deliverance ministers and education the church has available to help people with these kinds of issues. 

I discovered my insecurities and self-loathing were caused by my parent’s divorce.  Their neglect failed to satisfy the love I needed as a child.  I also had a spiritual inheritance from my father’s side of the family, of a fatherless spirit.  This spirit carries with it the deepest kind of shame next to molestation.  Subsequently, I became a perfectionist, trying to work for the approval, acceptance and love of my father, as well as men in general.  It was impossible for me to have real intimacy with God or man.        

So how do we dispel the toxic shame in our lives?  There is no way to change the past, but we can certainly change the future.  The first step is to find the root of that shame.  This is a painful process of digging deep into the inner most recesses of one’s life; a process that demands complete and total honesty with one’s self.  Then, there must be a confession and acknowledgement of those difficult things you have been hiding for years—things that have severely wounded you.  Lastly, a person has to walk out a process of removing the layers of self protection, so that they are open to letting go of their shame.
For a long time, I held on to my pride, control and unforgiveness.  Eventually I realized those were the very things that kept me from being delivered.  I had to stop blaming others for how I felt and trust that if I lived a life of total truth, people could, and would love the real me.  In time, I began to love myself for who God created me to be. 

It started when I went to Heaven, by way of visitation.  There came a cleansing fire and the love of God was so deep that I never wanted to cover up or medicate my shame again.  In fact, I prayed fervently for God to take it away.  This allowed Him to heal my brokenness with His love, understanding and care.  It wasn’t instantaneous, but I stand before you today delivered from toxic shame. 
Not everyone can have a heavenly visitation.  However, I know given the right resources, God can help those who struggle with debilitating toxic shame.  Like myself, you must believe you are not a mistake, nor are you a failure, in fact, God loves you very much.  It is especially hard when others condemn you and judge you, instead of seeing your pain.  All anyone really needs is to feel loved and accepted.  The Bible says we are, Accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6b).  It also says the only successful way to freedom is the truth.  You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free, (John 8:32). The word “make” in the Hebrew language means “to liberate or to deliver.”

Rev Daina House