“Exploited, Exposed, Untouchable…”
These are the words of shame speaking into my life. These are the words placing a label on my soul as they pour into my mind. These are the words that shame wants me to identify myself with. The words that dagger my heart, but if said enough times shame gets me to doubt myself and believe the stories it tells.
Shame has a game, a game it wants to win. A game I am losing if I don’t recognize the mess I am in. He smiles at my every defeat, and smokes a victory cigar every time I believe one of his lies. Shame wants me to hear his vicious words, and then wants me to label my soul with his deceitful marks.
“Exploited”… This is the voice that wants me to stay isolated. The voice that knows it gains power the further I distance myself from others. It reminds me that I can’t trust, that people will hurt me. It draws me closer to my shame, and the voice says it is the only thing I can trust. “If people see everything about you they won’t love you”, this is shames one liner in my mind. Shame likes to stay hidden, likes to stay in the dark, there is no power once it hits the light, it knows that, but I don’t. The voice of shame wants me to believe that no one can be trusted, that the walls I put up are for safety. That danger lies in being known by others.
“Exposed”… This is the word that swirls through my head as shame keeps me afraid of vulnerability. Shame reminds me of fear, and fear takes control of my decisions and my indecisions. It tells me that to be seen is to be misunderstood. It’s voice threatens me with the painful things in my life with its childish song, “I’m gonna tell, I’m gonna tell”. I bargain back desperate to stay hidden, “please don’t tell, please don’t”. I negotiate with the terrorist in my mind, he sees me play the game and he knows he’s scoring a goal.
“Untouchable”… This is the voice that says I have a disease, that says I am different because I am a mistake, the voice that reminds me I don’t belong, that I am less than, and that I lack purpose. Something is wrong with me. I am not here to impact the world, I am a part of spreading its corruption. This is what I believe as I hear it lingering in my mind a happy tune as it knows I am trapped now. Once I feel untouchable, and that I am broken in a perfect world, it knows my mind has been fully distorted and is at will to his play.
I have believed these voices for far too long. They have reigned on their little throne room inside of my head for long enough. It’s time to be exiled. It’s time for me to recognize that voice for what it is and understand that I have the authority to say “I don’t want you there any longer, you don’t have power over me”. I have things that have been inflicted on me and others I have caused that bring me to feel shame, but I am not shame. Shame is not my destiny, it is not my future.
It is the chains the world puts on me that Jesus has broken free.
It is the prison ground that I have been stuck on, but now, I hear the gates of release opening wide as I step outside these walls.
It has been the ankle tracker making note of my every move keeping me locked in place.
I am not grounded to your isolation camp! This rabbit hole has brought me your purposeful discomfort for too long. I see the light. I know the way out. It’s time to take it.
Once I step foot into the light, I notice the difference. I am not bound to the ground, I am not locked up, I am not unloved. Shame is. Shame is the one that fears isolation and wants me to stay close to him worried of being exploited. Shame is the one that fears being exposed to light and therefore wants to stay hidden in the dark. Shame is the one that is only a voice, fearful that I will understand he is powerless, and untouchable. Shame has the labels he has tried to give me.
I am the one that is free! You are the one that is shackled. Shame, you are the one bound to this earth. The voice with no home inside my head. You don’t belong here, you are unloved in this place, your voice cannot touch my fragile heart as it does not belong to you. My heart has been won, by my Victor, my King, my God, my Savior, my Redeemer. I belong to him.
His voice is gentle, kind, loving, and strong. His spirit is filled with goodness, with courage, with fire, and with protection. He is the light. He is where I find rest from a wretched world. It is in Him, my God, that I find trust from exploitation, in Him that I find the grace that I hope is exposed in me for the world to see, and in Him that I learn that my untouchable flaws can be transformed into the value He sees in me.
What love this voice is in my life? A love I want to know more, and a voice I will seek after to hear it speak louder in my mind. The freedom my soul feels today trusting God’s voice in my life I hope to keep with me always, but for now, I will shoot for today, and carry it with me tomorrow. It gives me life, it gives me fresh air to breathe, and it gives me hope for what the future brings.
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