Shame On You
Shame is something we all deal with daily, but I have to say that women may have perfected it. (Or maybe just this woman.) Where is it written that to be really loved and accepted I need to be perfect as a wife, mama, friend, in my job, and a woman. I hadn't really thought about how much I feel shame until recently, and I realized how much I was letting it control my life. They are the voice of the overthinking inner critic. I'm not talking about the big things. Sure, some old shame creeps up from time to time. But for some reason, the bigger things seem easier for me to let go of. To realize that I am forgiven and give grace to myself. No, I'm talking about the million little things that wiggle their way into my thoughts and feelings every few seconds. Shame, with it's synonyms like humiliation, mortification, embarrassment, and discomfort demands attention and will form the majority of my thoughts if I am not careful. I have a pimple on my chin. My hair is frizzing in this humidity. My clothes are not as fashionable as theirs. My nail polish is chipping. I yelled at my kid this morning. I have a little more "fluff" than she does. I didn't cook dinner last night. I have a sock basket because I don't have time to pair them up. Paint is chipping off of the corner on our garage door. Our house isn't as big as our guests who we've invited over. The list goes on, and on, and on and a new one will pop up depending on what circumstance I am currently in. Where did this need to be and do perfect come from? It's exhausting, and no matter what we do we will never live up to it. But, then I read:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:37-39
How awesome is that? NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. Say that over again until it actually sinks in. And isn't that what really matters? Yes, it is hard to be judged or scrutinized, but I am becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin. What is that saying? "Those that matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter." Such a simple and silly phrase, but so very true. I heard on a podcast to change out some of the words in this verse for my life and circumstances. I listened as I was driving thinking "Aww, that's sweet. What a cute idea." Until I tried it.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither pimple nor frizz, nor clothes nor chipped nail polish, nor yelling at our kids nor being fluffy, nor not cooking dinner for a night, nor having a sock basket nor paint chipping on the garage door, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Um, wow. Try this right now with your list. I can't tell you how loved and seen I felt just doing that simple small list. And how it will easily translate over into my day to day thoughts. And how I'm going to apply it to my family and friends as well. If I can comfortably say this verse and know that they will love me in spite of these things as well, then how lucky am I?
I feel as though I have a lot less judgement and a whole lot more grace for people when I think of them through the lens of a Mama. This does not mean that I will treat everyone I encounter as a mother, but that I should treat them and love them how I would treat my own kids. That I would extend them the grace and understanding that I would give my own children when they mess up, or are less than perfect (as we all are). The kind of love that I receive daily and do not deserve. That while I don't always actually know their parents or circumstances, they do have a Father who loves them that way and I am supposed to love as He does. So, if you have to choose between playing with your kids tonight or going to get your nails done, play with that sweet kiddo. They don't stay little, but your nails will still be waiting tomorrow.