I Still . . .
During one of the classes at The Togetherness Project, the presenter posed a challenge to us. He gave us each a note-card and asked that we write down one of two things:
- Something that we have never told another soul; our deepest darkest secret.
- If we no longer hold any secrets, how do we feel now about the secret we once held.
This is what I wrote:
In case you can't read my handwriting:
"Shame - fear of judgement, stigma/stereotyping & labeling. I would be socially branded."
I still feel shame for things that I have given to God through His ordained repentance process.
Things that I have:
- Inventoried it in Step 4.
- Shared with my sponsor and Bishop, free of rationalization and justification, in Step 5.
- Committed to do better in the future.
- Worked to not focus on, not feed, and to face forward.
Yet - I still feel shame for it.
Why? Because I am scared of what others will think/feel/say/do.
I am not perfect in my surrender.
Even though my mission is to bring shame awareness and help others find hope, I am not perfect at it myself.
In my recent post, Lustcrave, I expressed my feelings surrounding a recent struggle that I faced and didn't handle as well as I would have liked. I succumbed to temptation and looked at some things I shouldn't have.
I received some feedback on that post that led me to believe some may think that I am 'recovered' or 'cured.'
I want to make it clear that I have not been miraculously cured.
I still trigger
I still crave
I still feel shame
I still struggle with my thoughts
I still battle my own human hormones
I still struggle to keep intimacy with my husband clean
But... (and this is one time I advocate using the word 'but' which usually negates what came prior)
I am grateful for all of it. Because without it - I would not so passionately rely on my Savior the way I do.
If I don't speak of my specific struggle, it is not because I don't struggle, because I surely do. But rather, I choose to expend my energy on furthering the work, spreading hope, and creating connections.
I no longer feed each little trigger or temptation that I experience by dwelling on it, or wallowing in the 'why me' of it.
Recovery comes more swiftly when I focus on the Lord and work toward Him, rather than focusing on that which keeps me away from Him.