Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shame Off You...Chapter 6: For Want of a Mom and Dad

(Direct quotes from the book are noted in a different color.)

Wright explored the following concepts in this chapter:

  • there being no source of shame that is more fundamental than the shame felt in a broken family
  • the most important process in development is learning how to trust that someone else is there for us and knowing that the acceptance will be a constant simply because you "belong" to someone

The chapter examined how shame-based people have difficulty celebrating the success of another because the exultation of another prompts feelings of rejection. Biblical examples of the prodigal son's brother and Joseph (Old Testament).

Much detail was given in regards to how Joseph personified shame-free living:

  • Joseph resisted temptation (Genesis 39:8-9)
  • Joseph's immediate acceptance of Pharaoh's offer after being imprisoned for 2+ years (Genesis 41:41)
  • Joseph's willingness/ability to readily forgive (Genesis 50:21)

The words I found to be most "stinging" and "revealing" were:

"Shame ultimately objectifies a person. You are not valued for your personhood...(or) for relationship. You are worth only what you can do for me."

"Every concession of integrity in order to gain the payment of acceptance from others is an unseen prostitution of our souls."

Prostitution seemed like such a harsh word but made complete sense in his explanation. One of those moments of realization that you can't begin to heal until you admit there's an illness.

Wright further illustrated the heaviness of shame and deepness of want through his telling of a child who had recently been adopted. This child refused to leave the 1st place that she experienced fun with her adoptive family. She didn't want to leave because of her belief that once she left, she'd never be able to return. She couldn't comprehend the truth in the words: "You're adopted now. You will see greater things than this. You won't be abandoned ever again." The child's situation had changed but not her mindset.

I could so relate to the young girl. I keep refusing to let go of my 'known ways' and trust wholeheartedly in what the Lord promises to be greater things.

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