Updated: Apr 7
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been wrongly or falsely accused? Has someone passed a judgment onto you without a fair cause? Have you ever experienced harsh criticism or repeated verbal abuses from someone you trusted or suffered the deep pain, or disappointment that can come from being ignored, put off or dismissed? It’s nothing to roll your eyes at, that’s for sure. This type of interaction can often have just the right ingredients and temperature for creating a shame or embarrassment reaction. It’s at such a depth that it shuts down our normal, confident self-expression that connects us to others. Suddenly we may find ourselves with tunnel vision where self-loathing and self-evaluation becomes our focal point. We immediately begin to compare ourselves to others and in an evaluative, paranoid way of thinking our perspective in that moment carries questions about where we are and who we are with and it can feel like, “All Eyes On Me”. Where we do hide from that type of crushing alienation? No one can see it for all that it is and even the best description here is tough to outline because it’s not like an outward flesh wound we put a band-aide on. This type of wound goes deep into the soul of a person which is where our identity is. It’s a wound at the innermost level and wounds there take a special type of healing and the process may not come easy. It’s so important to use self-care during these moments. Soul criticism as I call it, can cause a unique response that is not easily explainable. These deeps wounds can shut us down, and keep our thoughts and words from being spoken out loud and keeps us silent in the intense pain. Imagine a big black medieval castle door that cannot be broken through for all of it’s layers of wood that criss-cross and the iron spikes and metallic inlays that reinforce that one door. Nothing can penetrate it or even burn it down, it’s perfectly and carefully designed to keep everything inside safe and from the attacks of the enemy. I picture our soul has a door like that. It’s a majestic door with beautiful handiwork. It has an important job to do; protect the most precious of things…the fragile human spirit of a man. Only God the creator can know that part, but no human can enter there without special invitation and even then just to glimpse and consider what might be there. The spirit cannot be known, only revealed and it’s from that place where shame can have it’s most crushing and devastating blows. But, it is also from this place where love, acceptance, vulnerability, grace and mercy have it’s most impact. The wounds here carry thoughts that might sound like these, ” I am a mistake”, “I am flawed beyond repair”, “What is wrong with me that I cause people to treat me this way? It must be just who I am”, “I don’t deserve to exist”, “I am not worthy, not important and not loved”, “This world would be better off without me”, “No one really cares about me”. These are tough words to write out let alone to have ever thought. At those moments our best defense is to seek help in our vulnerability and to admit that we feel this way. Remember, people do not have a right to attack our “souls”, our inner most person. That’s off limits. They can talk all day long about our performance or our abilities and that doesn’t affect us as much as soul wounds. It’s a fact that I am a terrible artist. I can appreciate good art but I cannot create it. I don’t mind if someone were to judge my attempt at artwork and say, “Nope, that perspective drawing is just not very good”. I would have to agree, but when someone wants to assign titles to me like, “Your’e a mistake, you can’t do anything right” – NOT TRUE, “You’re a disappointment…I’m just waiting around for you to make a mistake because I know you will, you do it all the time.” NOT TRUE, or “If you weren’t so annoying, I would not have to get angry at you”, NOT TRUE. These statements say more about the person saying them than they do about you. Keep that in mind, when people accuse you, it’s showing their inability to treasure others, value others, and love and support others. It’s NOT ABOUT YOU, but it can feel that way. I encourage you to think about that awesome medieval door whose job it is to protect a precious treasure, untouchable and unreachable to the outside world. That treasure is uniquely you and only you and your creator know it, only you can reveal it to the world, and it’s a magnificent. Take that deep pain and reckon with it, argue with it, and experience it, defend against your right to be here on this planet and don’t let anyone tell you anything other than you are precious and worthy. It’s important that if this type of wound makes you go silent, that you seek out professional help from someone who understands the depth of it and the way to assist you with healing. It’s a fragile, precious thing, that calls for careful respectful non-judgmental interaction. Seek it out and combat the judgments that brought you to that place so let me start here, YOU ARE WORTHY, YOU ARE LOVED, YOUR ARE PRECIOUS and YOU ARE NOT THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY THAT YOU ARE. Who you are is something only you can reveal so when someone tries to tell you WHO YOU ARE, simply remember the treasure which is your soul, guarded by that beautiful door that no one can see except you reveal it. May peace, joy, contentment and forgiveness be yours as you journey through self-discovery and truth.