Embarrassment versus Shame

People confuse embarrassment and shame. I know I did forever, and probably still do. I wanted to share my thoughts about it.

When I was a child in church one day, I grabbed my mom’s hand, only to find it wasn’t my mom’s hand after all, it was a stranger! I was so embarrassed that years after that I could recall the feeling. But why would it bother me so much years later, a small accident? I think it is because I was shame based. I was predisposed to think negative things about me meant I was bad. The worst even!

Now I see an innocent child happenstance, and I’m sad for that child who felt such horror at making a mistake.

Embarrassment is an emotion. It’s neither positive nor negative, it’s simply telling you that something is going on. What you tell yourself about that emotion is what is important.

I took a spill last week right in front of someone I care about impressing. I was embarrassed, how could I not be? But I told myself that it happens, it didn’t mean anything bad about me, it happens. Madonna did it in front of millions of people, and lived to sing another day.

I have less embarrassment than I did 6 months ago or a year ago. I’ve cleaned up so many memories of when I was growing up, but I do get in moods sometimes where I’m recounting those things to myself….but then I realize it’s the Enemy who is the accuser and I have to choose to live in the truth daily.

Embarrassment versus Shame

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