My biggest revelation is that however we were raised, the things we experience in life shape our understanding of the world and give us specific lenses from which we view life, people and our experiences. My lens in life has been shame. This means that every experience I encounter looks like shame to me. Every comment, every interaction, every outcome results in the same message - you are not enough.
What I’ve realized is that when I look from a different lens or take off the imaginary glasses of shame, as it were, the stories I’ve been hearing all of my life are completely different than I thought. We twist words and experiences to tell our own stories. We do it when we read books, watch movies and interact with others. Whatever you’re looking for, you will find. As Shauna Niequist says in her book, Present Over Perfect, “ If you're looking for stories to affirm your deep belief in the goodness of humanity, you’ll find them. If you’re only seeking stories that say the world is nothing but evil, you’ll find them. And if every story you hear, every song you sing, every tale you tell is really a story about shame and about not being good enough, you’ll find it.” Like Shauna, I know this because I’ve been doing it for years. The message “you’re not good enough” was ingrained in me at such a young age, it’s the predominant message I hear over and over again in almost any scenario in my life.
All this makes me wonder about my life and the misconstrued way I’ve approached it. It also makes me wonder how I may have misinterpreted my understanding of the Bible and God.
How many stories have I twisted to tell my own story? How many images of God have I construed out of my own pain? What would happen if we viewed our life experiences and God for that matter, with a different perspective versus through the lens of the wounds and pain we’ve suffered in life?
How much more beautiful and enriching would our lives be and would our God be if we free Him from our own suffering and unhealthy narratives.