Shame vs. Freedom

A few months ago I got the opportunity to write for a series my church just wrapped up called "Fully Alive." We looked at things we all face in our lives like shame, pride, greed, hopelessness and then looked at the inverse of those, so what does it look like to walk in freedom, humility, etc. We created the videos to help give a voice to what all those things can sound like in our lives. I really enjoyed each of the videos and you can watch them by clicking here. 

Also, inspired by a fellow co-worker and script writer for the series, here is the original script as I wrote it. A lot changed in the process, from the gender of the speaker and such, but I think the video really turned out well. I liked the idea of posting the script since it gives a little view into the creative process from script to finished video. Enjoy!

Week 2 Freedom vs Our Past and Shame (Actor: 20-something woman)

Often I wish I could go back to when I was a kid, when I didn’t stop to think twice about what anyone thought of me. It’s been years since I knew that kind of freedom. As a teenager I began to feel shame for the way I looked, for what I couldn’t do, for who I was. Even though I was loved and cared for by my family, there was something inside of me saying I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t enough. Period. But, rather than talk about it, I hid it, I pretended nothing was going on inside. I put on this big smile, and a confident attitude and pretended all was ok. To fill the holes left by the gnawing inadequacy I felt, I turned to bad relationships, people-pleasing, pornography and more to fill them. And as those things began to consume me, I believed the words echoing in my head “no one has to know about this.”

Honestly, I know living in that mindset has really affected me and the people around me. All of my past that I keep hidden has built walls around me and my heart. People often tell me that I come across with an “I’m better than you” attitude. But, really, it’s the shame, it’s the inadequacy I feel about who I am as a person. I don’t want to risk letting down the walls and having people see the real me. I don’t want to admit where I have failed. So the cycle keeps going where I stay stepping in my shame and don’t let people in that God could use to bring healing in my life.

A few years ago, I just broke down under the weight of all the shame I felt. I couldn’t bear it on my own. Haltingly at first I spoke out loud what had been going on in my life to a close friend. The fears, the shame, the sin, everything. Words tumbled out of my mouth coming out faster and faster as I spoke everything that had been hiding in my head and in my life for so long. As I came to the end of myself and of my words, I wanted to throw up, to take everything back, pretend I hadn’t said anything. But, my friend with tears in her eyes, simply looked at me and said “I don’t care, I love you anyways.” There is so much freedom in those words, the words of love, of acceptance. To know everything about a person and love them anyways. I will never forget how I felt in that moment.

I wish I could say I have walked in that freedom since then, but that wouldn’t be true. I still struggle a lot with shame and fear. Many days, I still just want to hide from the world and pretend that I am ok, that everything is fine. I still believe a lot of the lies that repeat constantly in my head that I am not enough. But, I hope for a day that I will be free from them, that I will really believe the words spoken over me that day, that I am loved despite where I have been and what I have done.