Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. (Psalm 42:5)
Elitsa Dermendzhiyska points out, “The inner critic sounds like the truth or else feels inevitable, immutable, and ingrained in our personality. But it’s not.” Elitsa claims that shame is an emotion that evolves and grows during our adolescence, and makes a home in our subconscious. It sits right behind our consciousness, directing our emotions. It is our task to break shame’s hold and reclaim our lives.
If you aren’t sure of shame’s grip on your subconscious, listen closely for a few hours to your inner voice. Is your go-to response negative toward others, and especially yourself? If so, you have to take back the reins. Sadly, this is the place most depressive people just give up. It sounds like too much work! I am not going to soft-soap the issue, it is hard work. It requires an intentional change of mind every time you hear shame’s statements. Every time you hear shame, you must consciously – intentionally – say, “no,” and replace shame’s words with words of your own.
Once again, Elitsa’s words provide support. “One thing I learned was that even at our most fragile, we are more resilient than we imagine ourselves to be.” When shame is in control, it feels like we do not have the energy to fight, or even worse, that we are not worthy to feel better. But, this is where God’s love comes into play. We are good enough because God loves us. God created us for a purpose, and we cannot let our adolescent shame continue to steal one more minute of our Christlike joy. With God’s help, we are resilient enough to make it happen.
Today, make a commitment to slap shame upside the head and take back the control of your thoughts and feelings. Shame is the great liar. You have to intentionally replace a positive truth with shame’s lies. Again, you accomplish this by doing the intentional work of listening to your inner voice and replacing negative self-talk with truthful, positive talk, based on the reality of your place in God’s created order. God’s love will help you kick that old shame right out of your head.