We can struggle with guilt and shame – shame and guilt, and struggle with these, and struggle with these, but until we understand how and why the chains of guilt and shame work, we will not be rid of them.
Yet, the resolution of these is so simple – so simple that we don’t always take the solution seriously. After all, something this complex, something this ingrained must be difficult to resolve. Right?
Guilt and Shame are chains to be sure. But these are chains that are of our own making. And the simple truth is, these chains that we have forged to make others wear – guilt and shame, are the very same chains to which we are bound and have bound ourselves.
The chain of guilt is one chain for all, and the chain of shame is one chain for all. The chain we bind others with and bind ourselves with is the same chain. For us to bind others, for us to blame others, lay guilt upon others, lay shame upon others, we must hold onto that chain with our own mind and heart – our own two hands hold tight to the chains of both, when we wrap others in the chains of guilt and shame.
When we place guilt and shame on someone else, we are placing it upon ourselves. With our own attitudes – our own judgements, criticisms and condemning within our own minds and hearts, we are condemning ourselves to be wrapped by the very same chain that we have wrapped someone else in.
As we do unto others, so are we doing to ourselves. This is the simple truth, so I’ll be redundant and repeat it again another time once more –
As we do unto others, we do to ourselves.
Only when we take steps to release the chain-hold we have placed on others do we also release the very chain that we are holding onto. Only when we forgive all, do we forgive our self, too, and vice versa. Only when we no longer place guilt and shame on others, do we no longer place guilt and shame upon ourselves.
As Joseph told his brothers, “Can [we] take God’s place in being judge over others?” In the most horrendous of deed’s to each other, we may still think that we, in our minds and hearts, must blame and place guilt and shame on others. If any of us decides to hold to that chain of guilt and shame which we’ve wrapped around others, then as long as we hold to the belief that we must continue to place guilt and shame on someone else – know that we’re the one’s holding onto the same chain and it has bound us as well. And we can choose to hold onto those chains if that is what we want for ourselves and others. However, in doing so, are we saying that God can’t do the job correctly?
Letting go of the chain of guilt and the chain of shame has the result of acknowledging that we cannot take God’s place in being judge over someone. Releasing the chain of guilt and the chain of shame that we have wrapped others in means we’re no longer holding onto the chain at all. And when we release others from the chains of guilt and shame- no longer placing guilt or shame on someone, we have the result of releasing ourselves, also.
As we do unto one, we’re doing unto everyone. The experience we create for others will always be the experience we are creating for ourselves as well.
Yep, I really needed this one, Jodie. Many thanks for your liberating insights! I believe what you said is so true.
“Letting go of the chain of guilt and the chain of shame has the result of acknowledging that we cannot take God’s place in being judge over someone.”
I would have preferred this to have stated that letting go of the chain of guilt and of shame allows us to emulate the Father who chooses to Love and not judge another. He knows how our journeys will end no matter the mistakes we make on our path.
Yes, perhaps I was using more “Old Testament” language, than “New Testament.” Thanks, Wink.