A wise psychologist once said, “Everyone leaves childhood with wounds. It is inevitable because we are all imperfect people. Even when we do our best, we will make mistakes.”
Society certainly doesn’t help us not live as people of shame.
Over a decade ago, when Facebook was pretty much the “main” social media, I had a premarital counseling session with a young couple. The bride was sharing how disgusted she was with what she looked like.
From my perspective, I couldn’t imagine how she could ever see herself that way. My take was that she was beautiful. Yet, because body shaming is a real thing among us, she saw it very differently.
“Just look . . .” she would say. And she’d pull up tons of other images on Facebook and show me friends her age that was skinnier.
I explained that social media is where we put our “best” foot forward, not our worst. No one puts daily selfies on there and says, “Look! I suck!” I refer to it often as “Fakebook” because I daresay many of us are vulnerable on that platform. (Myself included, so I am not throwing stones).
Societal expectations have been around for ages. And as we’ve aged, we’ve come to understand that perhaps they are not as “normal” as we once believed them to be. Yet, they are in the back of our minds.
Spouse/Partner failed expectations
Brene Brown shares societal expectations that drive shame:
For women – there’s an expectation that we do it all, do it perfectly, and never let them see us sweat.
For men – do not EVER be perceived as weak.
She shared that a man once asked her why she did not do shame-based research on men. “I deal with shame all the time . . . the women in my life, my wife, my daughters – they’d rather watch me die on the top of my white horse than I let them down. Women in my life are harder on me than anyone else.”
Tomorrow we will talk about “how” we allow Jesus to change our shame-based thinking.
For now, let’s just be willing to admit that societal constructs exist, and we need to do something about them.