Fasting from Shame (Day 6)
Dr. Brené Brown points out that shame is “organized by gender”.
For women, the best example I can give you is Enjoli, the commercial. “I can put the wash on the line, pack the lunches, hand out the kisses and be at work at five to nine. I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and never let you forget you’re a man.” For women, shame is, do it all, do it perfectly and never let them see you sweat. (I don’t know how much perfume that commercial sold, but I guarantee you, it moved a lot of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds.) Shame, for women, is this web of unobtainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be. And it’s a straight-jacket.
For men, shame is not a bunch of competing, conflicting expectations. Shame is one thing: “Do not be perceived as what? Weak.”
As one man said:
When we reach out and be vulnerable, we get the shit beat out of us. And don’t tell me it’s from the guys and the coaches and the dads. Because the women in my life are harder on me than anyone else.
- As part of an empathetic, supportive community, how can we be people of support rather than judgement for the men and women in our midst?
- How can we address this web of conflicting expectations that weigh upon women?
- How can we support men in their vulnerability?
- How can the ministries of COL speak to the impact of shame on our members; men, women and children?
After eating from the tree of knowledge,
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
Lord God, you see all and know all. Thank you for loving us, for seeking us out, even when we try to hide in shame. We pray in the name of the one who promised living water to the woman at the well, Jesus Christ our Lord,
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Tags: devotions, fasting, Lent, shame