Tag Archives: Self-harm

Raw Shame; Ten More Ways We Manifest the Pain of Shame

the pain of shame

Shame doesn’t have to control your life.
With God’s help, you can overcome the pain of shame.

This is part four of a six part study on the book Healing the Hurts of Your Past. These are the notes I used to guide a radio interview in the spring of 2012.  I discussed Ten Ways Denial Numbs Our Shame but I took a little time to discuss my final list of shame “fruit”.

The first group of fruit  we looked at consists of control tactics; coping mechanisms to keep the pain of shame from surfacing. When these tactics don’t work we turn to the second group; denial. And when denial fails then we have raw manifestations of the pain of shame.

Ten Ways We Manifest the Pain of Shame

  1. Envy – you wish you had what others enjoy but are convinced you never will because you don’t deserve good things in life.
  2. Anger – when you don’t have what you want you are always mad at somebody. Mad at yourself. Mad at people who put you down. Mad at God for making you so inadequate.
  3. Rage – shame based people don’t feel like they deserve to express their anger so they often suppress it…until it builds up and they let it rip.
  4. Anxiety – you live in fear of being exposed for the poser that you are. Some day everyone will know the “real” you and they will kick you out.
  5. Mistreating Yourself – you don’t think you deserve anything good and it manifests by…
      • accepting the inferior – relationships, jobs, food at restaurants, etc. 
      • sabotage – when you DO  get something good you feel so uncomfortable that you undermine the relationship, job, etc. so you don’t have it long.
      • harming yourself
      • eating disorders
      • a reckless lifestyle. Not caring about consequences because you aren’t worth preserving.   

6. Demand or Need for Affirmation – you trail people around hoping that they will feel obligated to like you. When they don’t you use it as proof of how unworthy you are.

7. Devalue Yourself; apologizing all the time, not accepting gifts.

8. Powerlessness – you live convinced that life will never be good and you can’t do anything about it. You let others control your life.

9. Self-pity – you are happy to get whatever kind of attention you can get.

10. Suicide – you give  up on life because the pain of shame is too great and you don’t see it ever-changing.

Let me repeat one last time…if you see yourself in this list it doesn’t mean you have ten MORE problems. You have ONE problem…shame. These are simply manifestations of shame. Deal with your shame and this list disappears.

My book goes into depth about how to overcome the pain of shame. Put briefly, it is addressing the lies of shame (I am worthless, etc.) with the truth of God’s unconditional love.

Shame doesn’t have to control your life. With God’s help, you can overcome the pain of shame!

Question: How else do you so the pain of shame manifest? Please take a second to leave a comment below.

Demi Lovato and Our Need for Affirmation

Demi Lovato

MTV recently aired a documentary on singer Demi Lovato. It’s always interesting to get the back story on what you read in the news.  She made the headlines in 2010 when her concert tour was cut short to go to treatment for eating disorders and self-harm issues.

Demi starts off the video by saying… “If you took away music I wouldn’t have a reason to live”. That’s a problem. She also said…”without music it would be hard to survive and stay in recovery”.  If she could replace “music” with “God” those sentences work. But as they are, I think she’s vulnerable to another fall.

I’ve written about the pressure that Whitney Houston endured in the limelight. Demi’s another talent headed down the same path unless she can self-correct.  Few of us understand the allure of the stage. It’s a drug like no other…the ultimate affirmation that we all long for.

There is something deep inside of everyone that NEEDS to be affirmed. We are valuable and we know it but when no one recognizes it we doubt our worth and go searching for someone to agree with what we think is true.   The sad thing is that we often look in the wrong place…places that initially satisfy but burn us in the end.

The only one who truly knows our worth is the One who created us.  If I want to know the true worth of a diamond I go to the person who cut it, not some guy on the street.  It’s important that we  find our affirmation with God first. If that’s not in place we will always chase affirmation in some superficial and fleeting way…i.e. thinking that we are only as good as our last concert or date or sales call or game or whatever it is that proves our value to us.

The video on Demi gave me hope  that she is getting close to finding her way (in spite of the opening quotes). She seems to have some level of faith. (It seems to be in the early stages but it’s a start.  I hope she can find a good group of people to encourage that in her. ) I also appreciate her transparency. Not only will that help her it helps many others that struggle…as the many young women noted in the interviews. I wish her well.

The bottom line for you today is a gut check…where are you turning for your affirmation “fix”? If it is anything short of  God I think you might be in trouble. If you woke up tomorrow and the source of that affirmation was gone…what would you do? Are you vulnerable?

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