The Swampland of our Soul

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I wish emotional healing was as easy as physical healing.  Got hurt by a friend?  Just look it up on WebMD.  Says friendship hurts should be healed within a week.  Neighbor rude to you this morning?  WebMD says 5 days.  Get flipped off in traffic- Dial a Doc says 3 minutes of an angry song on the radio and you’ll feel all better!  Wouldn’t that be great?  Just wait it out, and the hurt will be gone.

Well, as we all know, it’s not that easy.  There is this little thing called shame that is attached to so many of our hurts, and it is one of the reasons they don’t just go away as time passes.

I use to be on staff at West Ridge.  During that time, my feelings and my pride got hurt by the leadership and I stepped down.  Now, a few of them apologized and took some ownership in the situation, but deep down I still had some pain from the incident and I have been carrying that around for over 7 years now.

Notice how I said MY feelings and MY pride.  I am guessing that the other parties in this incident haven’t been walking around for the past 7 years with hurt or shame, but I have.  I feel shame for my part in how things played out.  This shame has made me afraid to be vulnerable and because of it, I have kept myself small and taken less risk to form attachments and friendships at church than I normally would have.

Brene Brown says “shame is the swampland of the soul”. It tells you that you are not good enough.  It tells you to believe in what society tells you, but what we need to do is put on our big girl/boy boots and walk through that swamp.  Get through the shame of what is weighing you down, and ask God to help you.  When we do that, it will clear the shame, get rid of those past hurts and allow us to live to our full potential.

~ Katie Van Gheem


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