“Grace transforms our failings full of dread into abundant, endless comfort … our failings full of shame into a noble, glorious rising … our dying full of sorrow into holy, blissful life. …. Just as our contrariness here on earth brings us pain, shame and sorrow, so grace brings us surpassing comfort, glory, and bliss in heaven … And that shall be a property of blessed love, that we shall know in God, which we might never have known without first experiencing woe.” ― Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love
shame is such a joy killer.
i’d say i have a healthy self esteem. i love myself and try my best to heal areas of hurt and suffering that become illuminated along the way, and i truly have always wondered, “what could possibly be so shameful that can’t be moved past and keeps others stuck in this cyclical downward spiral?”
my answer came in the form of an area of my life that needed intense healing and love. i believe the journey of self acceptance and forgiveness just might be the rockiest road of them all. i mean, just imagine! imagine what it would be like if we truly, madly and unabashedly absorbed an infinite amount of love into those areas that we are so afraid of exposing-even to ourselves! who do we think we are hiding from anyway? god knows us so intimately, even better than we could know ourselves…so who do we think we are hiding from? we cannot get away from ourselves, our failings and our sorrow until we let the light in to heal those soiled and dark abodes of death and destruction
that might sound dramatic, but this is what it truly does!
it comes in, seeking those broken places so deep with perfect precision, then sets up camp right in the middle, yelling lies on a bullhorn, piercing our hearts straight to the core. these evil accusations then take root, growing into tangled trunks of ‘truth’ along the way through the redundancy of this deceptive message.
even worse still, we then actually sign on the dotted line in full agreement with this deceptive and venomous treaty.
we make a pact where we’ve given our souls over for a handful of worn out lies.
and we do it without even knowing we’ve given it permission.
now this does not sound like a fair deal of any kind to me!
basically we lose.
if not vigilant and aware, this kind of thing will take us so far off course that our lives end up a pike of rot heaped with suffering and self beratement.
this is what has happened with me. it was as if a flashlight had been turned on and pointed straight at some issues i had been dancing around for years now, trying to ignore. things i had done that i was genuinely ashamed of, things out of desperation to try to keep myself afloat. shameful things where my intentions were pure, but i made decisions from fear, which brought all kinds of remorse and self induced affliction. they were and still currently are the places that need the most healing in my life, these most shameful aspects of myself.
the path to self forgiveness is strewn with thorns. it is not for the weak. like the quote above from Julian of Norwhich, it is full of falling and rising up again. it is claiming inches of victory at a time, then miles of setbacks. it is surrendering then snatching back.
woven with peace along the way, a safe refuge always finds me and offers me the shelter i am seeking. i am never alone. nothing is so shameful that i can’t be redeemed and actually turned around to make us greater. our power tenfold, our warring hearts braver.
as i venture further into the belly of this beast, i commit to loosening these chains and cutting then at the root once and for all. to accept the forgiveness that god offers me, that even he himself does not condemn me of! oh what a gift! the gift of pure and wild freedom that i have not fully accepted into my heart yet!
but i am aware. i am learning the process of surrender and what it looks like to partner with truth to fully uncover my true identity and the purpose for my life, my mission here on this planet.
i am still standing.