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You were brought up in a conversation recently, and I was left dumbfounded by the influence you have. According to this other person, you are quite controlling and manipulative in their life and she told me you are the reason she’s taking a step back from our relationship. My gut reaction was to deny the claim that you were the reason things feel strained between us; after all, no one likes you and there hadn’t been any major offense between this woman and myself. It took some time for my mind to wrap around the reality that you truly were the one who had strategically placed the wedge and then began pounding away, driving her and I farther and farther from each other.
Since I haven’t felt your trademark of overwhelming hopelessness, I suppose it would be easy for me to assume that we have just now met. But after this eye-opening conversation, I have come to the stark realization that much like the villain in a creepy, thriller movie you have been hovering by me for a very long time and have been leaving signs of your presence.
But it’s not just you who stalks us, waiting for our vulnerable moments, you are always bringing your friends too. And I believe that’s how you are able to create such destruction. This constant tag-teaming with depression, doubt, fear, insecurity, discouragement and paranoia causes us to build walls within our relationships. There’s an involuntary reflex to shift all blame onto other people’s shoulders because the emotions you bring are too great for us to carry. You and all your friends work like puppet masters pulling the strings until we have spiraled into the dangerous waters of either codependency or isolation; both of which leave us unfulfilled and yearning for true connection. And once we’re drowning, longing to feel loved, you laugh at us because we are loved by God and countless others but can’t see it. You’ve slowly stripped away our ability to actually know what real love looks like; and so we end up pushing away the ones who love us most.
These thoughts alarm me. In fact, they’re driving me to learn about you. And as I read and learn, I’m shocked… angry, actually. We technically didn’t invite you, yet you’re here just the same.
I dislike you so much I even have a hard time saying your name. I would much rather call you things like “liar” or “bully.” But for the sake of clarity- so you can’t claim this letter isn’t to you- I’ll call you by name. Shame. Yes, that’s right. I’m talking to you, Shame.
Although you are just an emotion gone rogue and not an actual person, it’s still time for us to part ways. In other words, I’m breaking up with you. And don’t think we will get back together eventually, because I’m fully aware that the problem is you and not me.
Goodbye, I hope to never hear from you again because I crave fulfilling, healthy relationships where I can be transparent, real and vulnerable. Without your poisonous claws attached to my mind, I’m going to love with abandon. Without your stupid whispers and accusations that lead to self-doubt, I’m going to trust others without fear of rejection. Without you, I will be free.
Goodbye and good riddance.
The person who is no longer your victim.
P.S. to the Christian…our faith speaks clearly of the oppression mentioned above…
When we look to God, He removes shame’s power over us. (Psalm 34:4-5)
God’s forgiveness wipes the slate clean, leaving shame with no real ammunition. (1 John 1:9, Psalm 103:12)
When God looks at us, there’s no condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
We are the ones in control because we can take every thought captive… (2 Cor 10:5)