Sunday, June 8, 2014 4:57 AM

Unacknowledged Shame

Sunday, June 8, 2014 4:57 AM
Sunday, June 8, 2014 4:57 AM

I very seldom use others blogs in full, but here is a blog that contains a great deal of wisdom. It was originally written as a political piece and I have taken the political references out and represented it as purely a statement of wisdom. I beg the author’s forgiveness for doing so, but I believe I have represented his article truthfully.

Over the course of time, I have seen many people ruin and waste their lives. Good people, smart people, talented people who sacrificed the gift of existence to drugs, alcohol, bitterness, self-abuse, fear and anger. In every case, always, I felt the root cause was unacknowledged shame.

At some point, these people had come to confront — as we all must — their cowardice, their weakness, their dishonesty, or their foolishness. Unable to accept the pain of an honest assessment of their brokenness, they turned their eyes away and practiced denial instead. In an attempt to avoid the agony of their shame indefinitely, they created whole new philosophies of life. If, for instance, they had backed down when they should have stood up, they declared nothing was worth fighting for. If they lied when they should’ve spoken true, they declared truth was an illusion. If they succumbed to desire when they should have resisted, they decided discipline was a game for puritans and fools.

In order to feel justified within this new philosophy, they not only had to continue in the bad behavior that shamed them in the first place, they had to condemn any good behavior that held the mirror up to their secret self-disgust. This always involved them in blatant self-contradiction. The person who believed there was no truth would accuse others of lying. The person who said all sexual behavior should be accepted would declare chastity unacceptable. The person who believed tolerance was the highest value would find those who disagreed intolerable.

Ultimately their stratagems of self-deception destroyed their integrity, and their hidden shame festered and ate away… well, everything; the whole joy of living.

My first reaction is genuine sadness over the many, many people of good will who are going to betray every value they profess to hold dear and double down on their error because they simply can’t bear to acknowledge the fact that they were wrong.

Over and over in my mind, I keep hearing the famous words of Oliver Cromwell: “I beseech you, in Christ, that you think it possible you may be mistaken!”

Article printed from Klavan On The Culture:

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