Shame Darts

Shame Darts

Throwing shame darts is a phrase I use when someone in our house says something, often sarcastic, that lands carrying a tone of shame. We all do it and some of us more than others. Some of us have grown up with it and don’t realize we are throwing darts.

I have been working through decades of shame. It has been a thick heavy cloud in my life that has been slowly lifting. Then I noticed it. The feeling was familiar. It was that jolt in my chest that radiates into my core when I think I have done something wrong, hurt someone, or been pierced by a shame dart.

I had received an email that landed with that jolt. It had a tone of frustration but nothing accusatory. I too upset to respond and gave myself a day to collect my thoughts. Why did this come across as shaming? Then I realized it. The author of the email wasn’t shaming me. I was shaming me. I was throwing shame darts at myself.

1-3 So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God. (1 Peter 2:1-3 MSG).

Getting rid of malice and hurtful talk includes what we say and do to ourselves. Life’s experiences had taught me to be hard on myself, to hold an impossible standard, and anytime I fall short reiterates that I am not worthy of love and grace. That is self shame.

It’s time to stop throwing shame darts at myself. It’s time to clean house and get rid of the malice and lies I inflict on myself. Recognizing it is a big first step. Now I can catch the lies and replace them with God’s truth. I deserve to speak to myself the same words that God speaks over me. I am perfectly and wonderfully made. 

Do you throw shame darts at yourself or others? Are you willing to stop? Do you speak God’s truth over yourself? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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