Tag Archive | Guilt

Raw and Real #12 – Freedom

Today, I enjoy much freedom;

Freedom from anxiety, freedom from shame, freedom from guilt, freedom from bullies.

I enjoy that freedom because I made a quality choice to do the really hard inner work.

Importantly I must add – allowing God/Jesus/Holy Spirit to guide me along what has often been a pretty bumpy path.

I am fully confident, that you can follow much the same path to healing.

What is needed is a longing to be better, and a tenacity to stick with it.

Here is a really important point that must be made!

I profess freedom.

I own it.

But I must understand, and remember over and over again that this does not mean that EVERYTHING is perfect.

Actually, far from it.

Life on this planet is predictably unpredictable.

Everyone has trials.

Everyone has issues; physical, mental, and spiritual.

The deal is; how do we handle it?

I am free because I choose to, as the “littles” say “Let it go”.

I give it to God, and leave it there.

Let me be very clear, sometimes I leave it there once a day.

Other times it is every hour.

Scripture tells us in Romans 12, that we are a “Living sacrifice”.

Well, famous author and teacher Chuck Swindoll states that the problem with a “Living sacrifice”, is that they keep getting up and getting off of the alter.

I have to offer myself to God every moment, of every day.

There is FREEDOM in knowing that I have done the work, and that God reminds me all the time, that “He’s got this.”

Being certain of that, removes the weight from my shoulders.

I can walk knowing that whatever is going on, He is by my side, and that He won’t leave.

I have a handful of what I call LIFE VERSES, one for most areas of my life.

Here is one of my favorites;

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 (ESV)

Note, that it does not say that weapons will not be formed, it says they will not prosper.

Keeping this thought in mind, helps to keep the weight off of my shoulders.

It keeps my eyes looking ahead to just how God will show me what to do next.

Carrying that weight?

It is my choice.

Dropping it away from me is also my choice.

I need to recognize that some days are going to be more difficult than others, but the bad ones do pass.

What frame of mind will I keep until that happens?

And be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13: 5B (ESV) 

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:24-26 (ESV)

There may be one more installment for this Raw and Real series, or there may be a summary.

I’m not sure yet.

But either way, won’t you join me?

Until next time …

Raw and Real #2 – Quiet (PJs)

My new series Raw and Real is just beginning.

My hope is that as you see some of my struggles, you will see yourself somewhere, and find help and strength in these words.

To begin at the beginning, you can click →here.

In #1, you read that I wore shame “like a coat”.

It is important to know the difference between guilt and shame.

Here is the definition given by →Psychology Today.

Guilt: a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.

Shame: the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.”

Did you inflict the pain?

Or did someone else’s actions inflict the pain?

Even though I was very young, and naive, just a child, somewhere on the inside, I knew something was not as it should be.

Not having the knowledge or capacity to figure out what these feelings meant;

they were buried deep in the “That’s just the way it is” category.

Somehow, I didn’t even wonder if others had the same things going on in their lives.

It was assumed that they did.

That category grew larger and larger over the years of my life.

Finally after many years of repetition of the same types of “trauma and drama”, I did begin to realize that something was wrong;

not just wrong, but VERY wrong.

I began to realize that the events in my life seemed to follow a cycle.

It was of course, not the same people that were there at the beginning, but the victimization was the same;

the same in that it was victimization, but quite different in size and scope.

Advantages taken mentally and physically were more inclined to take away any ability I may have had to remove myself from the fray.

However another difference was that I was able to see the high likelihood, that not everyone I knew bore the same issues.

After countless relationships with varying amounts of “trauma and drama”, I miraculously was introduced to the man who would become my husband.

We had a small family that although not always completely high functioning, worked well, and we learned how to live together, and to power through our troubles, and lead a pretty normal and well balanced life. 

(Our “kind of crazy” has been alive and well for 43 years!)

In 2001, there was of course what we Americans refer to as 9/11.

There was so much trauma; so much to absorb, so much to process.

And then, as if that were not enough, on 9/17 that my mom was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.

Treatment and care began immediately.

Her time was short, but intense.

She passed away in my living room, with her family all present, just days before Thanksgiving.

The reason this is important to the story of this post has to do with the idea of process.

While I was caring for her, I felt strong.

I felt like I could do what needed to be done.

Even after her passing, I still felt strong.

I still felt like I could do what needed to be done.

I was not looking ahead to, or even aware of, what was about to hit me.

I refer to what comes next as the →Cave Days.

There had been no time to process 9/11, much less 9/17.

I was not prepared for the loss of energy, the loss of strength, the loss of enjoying anything I had enjoyed before.

Between the mental pain, the physical pain that was radiating through my body, and the brain fog;

it took several doctors, and several “might be” diagnosis and treatments to find the problem.

During that time, I spent hours, days, weeks, and years at home, in my PJs, not moving or thinking;

barely breathing.   

It took me nearly four years to even LOOK at the items in my house that belonged to my mom.

As it says in the →Cave Days post – caves can be places of burial, or places to rest and regain strength.

It was a choice that had to be made.  

But how?

I hope you’ll come back on Friday for Friday Favorites.

Then again on Monday, so we can explore “But how?” question together.

Until then …

The Hardest Topic

This may be the most difficult topic I’ve ever had to face.
It’s the topic I’ve hidden from.
It’s the topic I’ve hidden from God.
It’s the topic I’ve not wanted to discuss.
It’s the topic that I would guess you don’t want to ponder either.
It’s the topic with symptoms I can’t even always recognize.
The topic - is Shame

One definition from the Encarta Dictionary: English (North America) says that shame 
is a painful emotion resulting from awareness of having done something dishonorable, 
unworthy, degrading, etc.
Shame is a deep sense of humiliation and embarrassment.
  Believing one’s name may fall into disrepute, or be discredited, only serves to 
bring on more shame.
  This shame that comes could be real, or it could be imagined.
It really does not matter. The effects are the same.
Shame may even turn into something pathological, which is defined 
 as “extreme or unreasonable”.
 Shame is the antonym of innocence.  
It changes who you were meant to be.  
Know this about Shame;
It is an attack from the enemy of your soul!
To keep you away from God’s design for you!
You didn’t do anything wrong!
Someone else did!
It was not your fault!
Shame is different from guilt, in that to be guilty one has to have done an action on their 
own of their own volition.  
Guilt generally comes from a sense of responsibility for knowingly doing wrong. 
Often there is remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or Imagined.

Guilt is synonymous with criminality.

The wrong-doer is the perpetrator!

They were in control of the situation!

There was nothing you could do!

Someone else is the criminal here!

                       You can cry out to God for Justice and Restoration! 

  Citing the article, “SHAME STEPS OUT OF HIDING AND INTO SHARPER FOCUS” By Daniel Goleman

The New York Times, September 15, 1987, Psychologists have determined the following;

·Shame is emerging, in the view of some, as a “master emotion” that influences all the others.

Its development is being traced back through childhood and its role in a wide range of human

experience, from spurring the greatest of accomplishments to the bitterest of marital fights,

is newly appreciated.  

·“Shame is a master emotion, regulating the expression of other feelings,” said Thomas Scheff,

a sociologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara,

·“Whenever shame enters the picture, we inhibit the free expression of emotion, with the

exception of anger,” said Dr. Scheff, who studies the sociology of emotions.

·Unlike other emotions, which tend to pass with time or with a catharsis like weeping, “shame

is the emotion most difficult to admit and to discharge,” Dr. Scheff said.

·Further, shame is the most private of emotions. “Shame may be one of the only emotions for

 which no facial expression has evolved,” said Dr. Paul Ekman a psychologist at the University of

California at San Francisco who is an expert on facial expression. “Of course, in shame you do

not want to signal your state. Turning away or hiding the face in some way are the only objective

signs of shame.”

You get the idea.
Shame hides.  
It is simply too painful to admit.  
It stays hidden inside and continues to decay our souls.
If shame is something you suffer from, 
I would like to give you a couple of suggestions.
Simply a place to begin, a starting point;   
*Ask God to help you, by His Spirit, to search your heart.
*Tell Him all about what you are hiding inside.
*Is there just one person you can confide in? 
 -Maybe not the entire story, but just a sliver?
 -Exposing this shame will absolutely RUIN its power over you.
*Maybe you just can’t tell anyone, however, can you write it down?
 -Then give the offense to God?
 -Getting this sense of shame out of your head will help to make 
 shame leave your heart.

Oh boy!

           I know what I’m suggesting is extremely difficult, 
However, I also know that God has so much for in store for you.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV1984)  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, 
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
You can trust Him with your heart.
The whole story or just a sliver.
                Wherever you are able to start.
                                Whatever you can give Him.
                                                                Justice for you, restoration for your soul.

Be courageous!  I know you can do this, 
             Your peace of mind depends on it.

Are You a Good Girl?

After my mom and dad were divorced, and after my grandmother died, my grandfather came to live with us.

He needed to be needed and we needed the financial help. Two problems were solved at the same time.

I didn’t have much to say to him, but I always liked having him around. He didn’t say much, but he didn’t yell or hit me either. Ours was a quiet relationship.

There was one question however, that he would always ask me.

I truly never understood why he kept asking the same question over and over.

I never asked him why he kept asking.

I always felt shamed by my dad whenever I asked questions.

Just one simple, confusing question.

“Are you a good girl?”

So here’s the story.

Mom had to work to feed all of us, and she worked hard. She worked long hours to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, even with grandpas’ help.

I was just about eleven or twelve then with lots of free time on my hands.

I made up for my dad’s absence with acting out in school. I never stood still and never ever stopped talking.

In my earlier years, I acted the same, that’s a different issue, but at least I got my school work finished.

Now I only did enough school work to get a passing grade.

My classmates never gave me any time without tormenting me about something.

This only agitated me more and brought on more activity and loud talking. Kinetically speaking, I was all over the place!

It seemed the principal’s office would be my second home.

My mom was at her wit’s end. She didn’t know what to do with me.

She called my bio-dad. He said he would be glad to help her out.

So I got all packed up and shipped off to his house.

The dynamic at this house was very different.

Although the number of people was the same, I noted closeness between the kids that I had not known with my own siblings.

Bio-dad had a girlfriend too. She seemed only about twenty or so to me.

Even at my age, I knew her to be very young as well.

It seemed odd to me, but I didn’t know why.

By the third day of my arrival, I knew that my time here was to be like nothing I had experienced before.

Stories of odd occurrences were told to me by the other kids that lived there, and a harrowing incident with a puppy took place.

These other kids, my half siblings, appeared nonplussed by the whole stream of events.

This all seemed quite normal to them, a part of everyday life.

I had to wonder what kind of a normal this was.

Little did I know that abnormal for me was about to get worse.

Early morning visits from my bio-dad were my new norm.

I would tremble and shake with the fear of his appearing, and his making me do things I did not understand and that caused me great pain.

I was a hopeless child in a circumstance I had no power to control.

In all the stories my half siblings told me, this one was not included.

I’ll never forget the words he said to me.

At sometime during my visit, an older half-sister of mine found out somehow that I was there, and she contacted my mom and told her to get me out of there.

I do not know what she told her exactly, but I didn’t stay there more than a month, but alas, it was already too late. The damage had already been done.

I had no understanding about what was going on, but at the same time felt guilt for leaving, or for being taken back out of that place.

The guilt was for the fact that even in my naïve little heart, I knew that the others would be back in line after I was gone.

I had no opportunity for a while to see my Grampa, but sometime later, when I did, there in the kitchen, by the frig, he asked me that fateful question,

 “Are you a good girl?”

Instantly my eyes hit the floor between us.

I finally knew what that question meant, and I really wished I didn’t.

Has something taken place in your life that you were powerless to control?

Do you feel guilty?

Do you feel shame?

Do you wonder where God was?

Or why He allowed it to happen?

Of course you do. You would not be normal if you didn’t have these questions.

I have some things to say to you;

You are not guilty.

    The enemy of your soul saw to it that you would be overpowered by evil.

The shame does not belong to you.

              It belongs to the one that was party to such evil.

Know that God was there.

              It’s a bit inconceivable and a bit maddening at first to realize that He

              could have allowed it, that He knew about it.  That it was not a surprise.

You can be mad at Him if you want.

He is big enough to take it.

Then you will have a choice to make.

When you’re done being mad, you can crawl up in His lap, and He will show you just how important you and all of your history are to Him, and to someone else in the future who will need your help.


You can walk away mad, and perhaps someone else will not be helped because your voice, your special voice, was the only one their ears could hear.

God was in the same place when His Precious Son Jesus was crucified on the cross. God knew, and Jesus did too, that the future of countless many was at stake, at the moment of Christ’s torture and death.

Evil tried to overpower Him, but it could not win.