Tuesday, July 15, 2014



Resilience is the goal, shame is the problem and God's empathy is the solution

Resilience is the Goal

I have learned one of the character traits we all need is resilience - the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; a toughness, or bounce back like elasticity. This is the trait that causes you to get back up…to keep going... Not just by the skin of your teeth but to recover back to your strength.  It is centering yourself in three truths: God will never give you more than you can handle; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and nothing can separate me from the love of Abba.  Resilience is finding the sweet spot of your honor, beauty, strength and character in spite of the difficulties and problems.  How many people do you know that have this ability or character trait? Not many, they stand out and seem unusual in their strength.  Shame is the block to why we can't vulnerably live in our strengths.  

Shame is the Problem

Dr. Brene Brown defines shame as  “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. Shame creates feelings of fear, blame and disconnection.”  I don't know anyone that doesn't have these feelings at least some of the time.  I think it is the human condition this side of heaven.  Shame comes from our interpretation of life.  That interpretation is flawed because it is based on our childhood perception and the lies that get stuck in our heart.  Shame grows in secret, in silence and the feeling of being judgement.  

have struggled with shame in some form for most of life.  Feelings like I don't belong at the table or I don't know what your talking about fly into my head.  The lies of shame have prevented me from experiencing the joys of life.  My goal is to be resilient and strong.  I have found some things that have transformed how shame affects me.  

Empathy is the Antidote

The first is empathy.  "The Antidote to Shame is Empathy" - Dr. Brene Brown.   Empathy fuels connection. According to Theresa Wiseman, a nursing scholar, there are four qualities of empathy:

  1. To be able to see the world as others see it (or recognizing that their perspective is their truth)
  2. Being Nonjudgmental
  3. Try to understand another person's feelings
  4. Communicate an understanding of another person's feelings.

Empathy creates a safe relational place for us to land.  Safe close empathetic relationships give us another grid with which to measure and perceive ourselves. The wounds and scars of our past require us at times to find other things to help us find truth.  Empathy creates Connection when we - feel seen, feel heard, and feel valued.  We will never be resilient on our own we need others to make us strong.  

God’s Empathy

Scripture supports our need for empathetic community around us.  I want to carry the idea a step further.  God’s connection and empathy.  Read Romans 8 and Luke 15.  I have found that I need something more with which to measure.  Sometimes the wound and shame is so big that I can excuse others connection and empathy.  I need to meditate and connect to God’s empathy and desire for me.  

Here is what God’s empathy and connection sounds like in my head.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 37-39
If you would like to meditate or think more on God's desire and concern for you look at the Letter From a Loving Father

How does shame and resilience affect you?

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