It has enshrouded me.
It has suffocated me.
It has made me hate every fiber of my being.
It has enveloped me like scorching billows of toxic smoke in a burning building.
It has burned me alive and made me beg to die.
It has mocked me and tormented me.
It has isolated me and marked me.
Unlovable. Despicable. Repulsive.
Today someone told me that it’s not my shame.
Today someone gave me permission to give that shame back.
Back to its rightful owner.
Today someone invited me to stop and consider whose shame it is.
Could it be that I’ve been carrying this crushing weight all along,
all of my life,
and it’s not even mine?
Today is a day of giving back shame, of boxing it, of packing it, of sending it back.
Return to sender.
To see it no more.
It has burned me. It has haunted and stunted me.
It has held me in its terrible and achingly lonely embrace for as far back as I can remember.
It has choked me and then laughed mercilessly as I struggled for air.
Today this will end. Today it leaves.
Because today I have seen for the very first time that-
It’s not my shame.
It never was.
And in that seeing, and that hearing, and that beginning to believe,
even now, that shame begins to loosen its grip on me.
I also, am losing my grip of it, and it slips from my hands.
No longer ashamed.
No longer bound by those sticky ropes of shame.
I stand free.
A new identity. A new name. A scandal of grace.
Redeemed. Chosen. Beloved.