Ever Lost Your Wedding Ring?

by Uncategorized, Week 4 - Humility

I’ve been thinking about shame after a recent event in my life.

I was preparing to drive back from Kansas to Texas and as I packed up, I could not find my wedding ring.  After searching for 90 minutes I realized it wasn’t just misplaced.

As that realization settled in, there was an emotional transformation occurring within me.  I felt despondent, sad, angry at myself and thoughts of condemnation circled in my head.

You may have experienced the thoughts I was having.  They start with a condemning “why” such as “Why were you so stupid?“.

On the eight-hour drive to Texas I didn’t say 50 words.   You should know I have had this ring for 35 years.   And it wasn’t my first time to lose a wedding ring.

By the next morning, I had processed through the event.  That meant I accepted that the ring was gone, and I didn’t have a clue where it was.

Then I considered what was going on inside me during this situation.  What I saw was a great amount of shame within me.

You may connect with that or shake your head wondering why the loss was such a big deal.  I get it.  I realize that some people don’t struggle with shame but for those who do, you will resonate with what I have been saying.

Shame is not embarrassment.  Embarrassment is feeling uncomfortable about something you did.  Shame is not guilt, we feel guilty for not doing what we are capable of.

Shame is feeling uncomfortable about who you are.

We can move forward after embarrassment and guilt but shame has a nasty way of sticking around.  Married to someone who has a shame issue?  Or are you that person?  You need to discuss it, in the light.

Shame is feeling uncomfortable about who you are.

We can move forward after embarrassment and guilt but shame has a nasty way of sticking around.  And if you are married to someone who has a sense of shame (or are that person) you need to recognize it and discuss it together.

Shame is the rejection of who you are.

For Lou Ann, losing the ring was painful but not a reflection on me.  She could not understand why I was so wounded.

I sat with her and explained it.  How I felt like a failure and that losing the ring made me feel like a terrible person.  In my mind I could see I was stupid and worthless because I couldn’t keep track of something so valuable.

The conversation wasn’t that long, but it helped her see my inner sense of shame.

I also realized my shame had been there all along.  All it took, to bring it to the surface, was the event.

At one point, on that drive back to Dallas, Lou Ann asked me, “What are you feeling?”. That was a great question and my answer was “I’m tired of being me.”

What I meant was that I was tired of of my weaknesses, failures, losing things and constant mistakes.

Did God have a purpose in this?  I think so.  I believe God wanted to highlight my shame because it needed to be dealt with.

There was more that God had to say about my shame and it surprised me.  I want to share that in my next post.

Questions

  • Do you resonate with what I’ve described?
  • Are you someone who experiences shame?  Or maybe your spouse?
  • What are examples of shame in your life or in others?
  • If you have shame where do you remember early experiences of it?
  • Can you think of anyone, in the Bible, who have experienced shaming from others?

Scripture

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. – John 3:17

But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. – Isaiah 50:7

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2

Quotes

Shame, depart, thou art an enemy to my salvation! – John Bunyan

Shame wields its power when you tamp it down and ignore its existence. Expose it to the light, and it becomes a vampire at high noon.
– Howard Englander

Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself. – Anais Nin

Shame derives its power from being unspeakable. – Brene Brown