Tag Archives: independence day

Shame Prevents Your Independence Day

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse  (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

photo of fireworks during nighttime
Photo by Miguel Acosta on Pexels.com

Negative self-talk destroys and paralyzes dreams.  Period. That is all it accomplishes.

Have you ever credited daily guilt and shame with pushing you to success? Not likely! Most of us can probably remember a time when those negative thoughts held us back. I fueled self-doubt and fear for decades by using words born out of shame. 

Shame can keep us from creating or achieving. Dreams die on the altar of negative self-focus.  I’ve heard the theory “fear of success” used to describe why a person with skills may not pursue higher goals.  How many of us fear moving forward due to shame?

It seems a type of dependence on people’s approval was actually a perceived need for permission to accomplish anything despite the shame I felt.  Anger was the superficial emotion, fear lay under that, and shame was apparently the real culprit.  It whispered each night, “You do not deserve anything good.”

I met a plumber who noticed a symbol of Jesus in my house. He asked about it, and when I explained Jesus’ loving plan for humankind he said, “I was a sniper in the Army. And good at it. There’s no forgiveness for me.”  Guessing by his age, he may have been in Vietnam. 

Self-inflicted wounds were bleeding this veteran dry of hope. I said, “The ground is even at the foot of the cross.” I meant that not one of us deserves forgiveness from Jesus and he does not ask us to become worthy of it.  His grace is a free gift. God looks beyond our false guilt and true guilt to embrace the person who comes in faith to him in the present. 

The plumber said with a sigh, “Yeah, that’s what my son keeps trying to tell me.” Then he left. 

Did you catch that? 

Read his last statement again. The only reason his son had to try to convince his dad of the best news of his life is that the truth disagreed with the man’s negative self-talk. Years earlier he had bought the lie that his actions made him unworthy.  

What we believe and whisper to ourselves is a strong chain when negative. As long as we are bound we are not free to enjoy relationships or pursue dreams.  We will not get over the past.  Today’s troubles will only add to painful memories and disappointments.

Is that what you want?  If not, do you need an independence day of your own?     

Independence Day is here for America. I want freedom too!  Fear of success, aka shame, has been holding me back again. It’s time to challenge negative self-talk and march forward.  

Today’s Helpful Word  

Jeremiah 29:13,14

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

 

 

 

 

 

Revealing One’s True Self

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2013 Nancy Virden

american flag on the pole

The closet in which I confined myself was named “Privacy” and “Image.” It is a popular type of closet.

Few people recognize when someone else is in a closet, and most never know when they’ve made a home of one for themselves. The nature of a closet is darkness. It’s tough to see or hear once inside.

From the outside, an onlooker may see a pristine showpiece; light on the inside is assumed. The closet-dweller’s eyes have grown accustomed to the dark, and he or she fails to understand the reality of the situation.  What are people hoping no one else will discover?

For me, privacy and image were so important I rarely allowed honest emotions to show. In fact, I didn’t know them myself. In the last twelve months, I inched my way out of that closet.

America too is, at least on the surface, becoming more aware and willing to talk about mental illness. A few old stereotypes are failing to hold up under increasing scrutiny. Stigma is rampant, however, and a high percentage of those who struggle do so behind closed doors.

This past week, I heard from a few readers of my second book who each stated their appreciation for my honesty and openness. Me? Open? That is flabbergasting, but I can look back and see my old closet is further behind me than even a few months ago. My desire to remain free has so far counteracted  a continuing temptation to return to safety.

Until we open our doors to listen to, learn from, and invest in those who are different from us, our country, schools, and churches will be shrouded in misunderstanding, polarization, stigma, and denied blindness. Compassionate love leaves its closets behind, shining its light of vulnerable realness in order for everyone to be encouraged.

Here’s to being free in America. Happy Independence Day!

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NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or if you are concerned about someone who is,  please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*photo from qualitystockphotos.com