Shame is debilitating and if left unaddressed leaves us empty, alone, and afraid. But we don’t have to live under the weight of shame. We can conquer it.
We neutralize the power of shame when we expose it. Because shame thrives in darkness, we stop it in its tracks when we shine a light on it. By having the courage to speak our shame with ourselves, God, and others, we begin the process of reducing the stronghold of shame in our lives.
According to Brene Brown, the original definition of courage comes from the Latin word cor which means heart. So the original definition of courage was to “tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” To conquer shame, you must have the courage to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
The beauty of sharing your story with your whole heart is that it not only changes how you see your shame, but it has the power to change the way others see their own shame. Vulnerability and authenticity are contagious and encourage others to be more vulnerable and authentic too. Every stride you take in conquering your own shame with courage is potentially giving someone else the strength to conquer their own.
To help you get started conquering your shame, here are 3 ways to begin living into your courage.
1. Talk About It: In Faithwalking we call these transformation conversations. The key is to be authentic, passionate, and clear about where you are and what you are struggling with. You are going to want to share what you are getting present to, where you think it may have originated, and how you see this new understanding impacting your life positively in the future.
2. Write About It: Journaling is a great way to gain clarity. You can start by writing out what you are feeling and why you may be feeling that way. Write down situations where you think you may be living out of your shame. Getting into the practice of journaling can be difficult but extremely beneficial.
3. Pray About It: Live into the message of Christ that, in Him, there is no condemnation. Open up to God about what you are feeling and thinking. Ask Him for further clarity. Ask Him for strength and to continue His work of restoration in you. Just spending time intentionally in His presence can bring healing and peace.
Each time you take that step of courage, exposing shame, you will gain clarity and weaken the hold of shame in your life. By taking that step of courage, you are unlocking the door to further joy, gratitude, and happiness.