In May of 2010, I wrote a blog post called Hi. I’m Karen. I’m an Adulterer. At the time, I didn’t mention this, but the reason that I wrote this blog post was because I was told … more than once … by someone whose opinion I valued at the time ….
“People wouldn’t read your blog if they knew what you have done.”
After hearing this, I began to wonder if it was true. I felt like a fake. I felt like I was hiding something that was important. So, I shared it. Not only did I share my truth, I even took full responsibility for my marriage failing.
Once you have accepted your flaws … your failures ….
no one can use them against you.
Two big revelations have come to me since that time.
One of those revelations is …
I am not an adulterer.
I was guilted into believing that this is who I am
rather than this is what I did. There is a difference.
This past year, I had a few thoughts come together and merge
into release …
release of the guilt that I carried in wearing the label “Adulterer.”
You’ve probably heard before;
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian
any more than sleeping in a garage makes you a car
or living in a barn makes you a horse.
But, doesn’t telling a lie, for example, make you a liar?
I have struggled with that one. It seems as though lying over and over and over
is what makes you a liar.
But actually … it is making the decision that telling a lie and then lying repeatedly
is what makes you a liar.
But, telling a lie … or even a few lies … doesn’t make you a liar.
Brene Brown really helped me with this one. In watching many of her videos and reading her books over the past year, I have so enjoyed the way that she has unraveled many ideas associated with guilt and shame.
This video offers an explanation that gave me a fabulous ah-ha moment. It is a great video from end to end, but for this particular topic, begin at at 37:35 minutes and listen through 42:30.
Did you catch that?
Guilt is “I did something bad.” Guilt says: I made a mistake.
Shame is “I AM bad.” Shame says: I AM a mistake.
There is a tremendous difference in the two.
Guilt is our friend. It helps guide our decisions via our personal character and values.
Shame is not healthy in that it condemns us and attacks and dismantles our self-worth..
And I realized this past year .. I am not an adulterer. Yes, I committed adultery. I made more than one mistake over the past twenty-five years … but making a mistake shouldn’t cause me shame. It doesn’t make me an adulterer. It simply makes me human … a sinner … a mistake-maker … who learned from her mistake and makes it her intention (to this day) to be keenly aware of situations that could lead to actions that are against my personal standards and values.
Every year brings growth. Each year brings more freedom.
Each and every year brings a little more demolition
of the lies that I have heard and accepted as truth
from people who don’t fully understand grace, mercy and forgiveness.
Does this fit your life? Are there things that you have been told
- by friends, family, writers, mentors or by the enemy -
that have caused you shame
that you need not believe?
I hope that 2014 will be a year of breaking free of those detrimental labels ….
one at a time.