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The Wages of Shame

"God does not lead the soul by shaming it, just as a good parent would not shame his or her child. It doesn't work anyway. We have all done it at times, and if we were raised in a punitive way our selves, we still tend to think that is the way to motivate people--by shaming them or making them feel guilty." Richard Rohr

Most if not all of the struggles, mental and emotional difficulties, relationship problems that I see in my counseling practice are because of shame. The road back from shame is long and difficult.  We must learn to love one another and love never includes shame.

What are the consequences of shame? We stop trusting, we shut down or attack, self protect and are deeply afraid of ever being vulnerable again. We become defensive, vigilant, believing we are flawed and patently unlovable. Shame is like being in a box that we can't see to find our way out of and are too afraid to even try. What can open this box? Only love, unconditional, sacrificial love that breaks through our defenses and says "You are cherished more than you can imagine. You are more important to me than I am to myself." Jesus said: "Love one another as I have loved you."

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