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“Acknowledging our emptiness and brokenness, our failures and weakness, is an exercise in confronting shame. It can be quite painful – something we either avoid or cover over with self-loathing. Shame is not self-loathing. Indeed, the energy behind our self-loathing is simply pride (ϕιλαυτία). Self-loathing is consumed with the self and driven by its unwillingness to be that person. Bearing our shame is the willingness to acknowledge the truth of ourselves and our lives as a simple fact, without protest or promise of reform. It is enduring the simple fact of our lives, how we live them, how we fail, how we really do not love God or others, etc. It is not an exercise in comparative failure – it does not matter whether our weakness is similar to anyone else’s. Such comparisons are merely another exercise in self-justification, an avoidance of the fact, the shame, of our lives.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“It’s easy to feel ashamed and retreat behind a stoicism that says, “I’m not lonely,” “I’m not scared,” or “No one can ever hurt me.” In such a hardened state, we may find it difficult to be real with God about our needs, struggles, and temptations. Even though God knows us better than we know ourselves, we often feel embarrassed coming to Him and being totally honest about the pain we feel.” (Robin Phillips)

“Sometimes, when we have been through painful experiences, it is as though we send a message to others that we are not safe to be around. We believe that inevitably we will end up disappointing the person who seeks a relationship with us, because they will somehow see us in the same distorted way we see ourselves. Shame can do this to us. Also, sometimes we do not see others for who they are but for who they could become. In these instances, when others try to show us love or affirmation, we respond by almost becoming numb and not being responsive. However, if we perceive someone directed something negative towards us, how quickly we react and respond. When someone attempts to love or affirm us, we might react as though it is not real or not safe. As though on a deep unconscious level we are saying, the love they are showing me cannot be real, because at my core I am unlovable.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“Healthy shame is quite complex. Many of us get it wrong at first, but it is our most personal energy, in a way, and therefore its development and cultivation are synonymous with our becoming our unique and true selves. Healthy shame is the sine qua non of a spiritually developed person! And this reverent shame is what inevitably grows through the Beauty-first approach of focusing on Theophany rather than on self-analysis or on our moral failings.” (Timothy G. Patitsas)

.Shame is healthy when it allow us to see that we have produced no fruit in this life, only emptiness and death. All change comes with a certain degree of pain, discomfort, and bitterness. The accomplishments that gain us adulation and praise from friends and colleagues make us wince when we catch sight of our dark side, unseen by the majority. Because the Lord knows our hearts, “what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Lk 16:15). However, once we accept godly shame with equanimity, we can go beyond it to eradicate the habits and assumptions that allowed us moments “of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness” (Rom 6:19). Shame becomes our ally, mentor, and guide, warning us when danger approaches and urging us to turn to life once again. It reminds us that we are slaves of God and owe it to our Master to offer “fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (vs. 22).” (Dynamis 7/18/2021)

“Human beings spend most of their lives “donning various masks” to hide their weaknesses, fears, insecurities, and shame. Repentance is simply the act of taking off the masks.” (Jonathan Jackson)

“If we conceal our wounds, out of fear or shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others…When we surrender our suffering and brokenness to God, we are on the path to wisdom and might.” (Brennan Manning, Marlena Graves)

“In the Ladder of Divine Ascent we hear: “Shame can only be healed by shame.” As difficult as this is for us, it is the place of atonement and exchange that Christ has set. I have been learning recently, however, that to speak of “bearing a little shame”… is overwhelming to some…Vulnerability, at its core, is nothing other than “bearing a little shame.” It is the willingness to be real, to be authentic with the risk that it entails. This is on the psychological level. There is a deeper level, though we cannot really go there without enduring the psychological first. God give us grace to be vulnerable in His presence, vulnerable enough to discover our true selves.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Adam and Eve were naked but not ashamed. When they sinned the first thing they felt was shame and they immediately hid and covered themselves. When confronted by God about what they did, they took no accountability but rather placed blame. They did nothing more than what goes on today. We hide our own sins while ruthlessly shaming others for the same things we ourselves are doing in secret, or for things they may have done years ago. It’s hypocrisy and judgment at its finest, and if we are acting like this we might as well build a wall around our heart and hang a sign on its gate that says to God ‘no admittance.’ The better path is to be completely honest and accountable with ourselves so we can become repentant, accept God’s healing love which always results in correction, and then be able to be an agent of healing to others. ” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“We have all done things for which we are ashamed and we live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be….Don’t dwell on your past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with Him now.” (Life Application Study Philippians 3:13, 14)

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