John 8 tells the story of the adulterous woman who Jesus defended. She stood shamed and condemned by her community. In this episode, we discuss how Jesus always moves toward the outcast to offer hope. He consistently moves away from those in power to be with the disempowered.
This episode explores the impact of puritan values, rigid thinking, and shame-based teaching in Christian culture. Our guest for this episode, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Friendswood Family Counseling, Rochelle Bridges, helps unpack the factors that lead to shame, the damaging impact shame has on mental and emotional health and ways that we can combat the downward spiral of shame in ourselves and others.
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We learn about rigid thinking, which often causes people to feel stuck or severely limited in what choices they can make in their lives, and how intolerable that feeling is to people. We hear about how rigid thinking combined with critical, judgmental, and condemning attitudes produces shame.
We discuss how shame is something that everyone experiences, but that no one talks about. Shame sends us into a downward spiral of negative self talk that is damaging to our worth. Shame grows when it is kept secret, so talking with a therapist, advocate, or other supportive person helps to chip away at shame and brings healing.
Rochelle gives us some tools we can use to combat rigid thinking and shame. We can challenge rigid thinking by using the words “but” or “and” at the end of rigid thoughts, to allow for alternative choices. We can also choose what to do with our feelings of shame, and how we can consciously choose to move forward in a new direction of growth. Rochelle also gives us some tips on how we can be mindful parents to build shame resilience in our children.
We hope that this discussion brings you hope and healing from any shame you may carry. The truth is that you are fully known and deeply loved and celebrated just as you are.
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