Shame is the Graffiti that Covers Our Purpose
How many of you, growing up, had an imaginary friend? Did your imaginary friend commit suicide?
Kim’s may be the only one.
Her imaginary friend’s name was Charlie, he was cute and a good student. Kim’s life quickly fell into a downward spiral after she told Charlie to leave and he killed himself. Three years after she told Charlie to leave, at the age of 11, she experienced her first black out from drinking alcohol. Her life continued to spiral out of control and it was full of shame.
In 1995, she was hospitalized for the last time due to drinking. This was the turning point for her. She has been sober for over 20 years. From that day on, she began to study shame.
“I am who others say I am,” and she forfeited the right to define herself.
Shame is a gift. Someone else has to bring you into a relationship with shame. It’s a (horrible) gift from someone else. It comes from the outside. Teachers, friends, social media. Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we can change. Shame is a host of lies.
Kim’s counselor told her that her mind is like a bad neighborhood and she shouldn’t go there alone. It’s only a bad neighborhood when she’s distracted by shame. Her job was to put shame out of work to make her mind a better, safer place. Kim realized that shame is graffiti that covers our purpose.
Shame changes perception. What others write on you (graffiti) should not rewrite your purpose.
The very thing Kim was running away from by using alcohol, when treated differently, propelled her to a new platform.
Beneath the graffiti is purpose. Your purpose.
Kim Honeycutt, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCFC, has been a Psychotherapist in private practice specializing in trauma, addiction, and shame for over 16 years. As a Psychotherapist and recovered alcoholic, Kim has found strength in hearing many raw and vulnerable stories of resiliency, and she wanted others to have the opportunity to hear similar stories. As a result, in January 2014, Kim co-founded icuTalks, a speaking ministry focused on mental health. Kim speaks regularly at icuTalks and at other events, churches, and conferences. She has been published in several magazines and enjoys writing the occasional blog. When she isn’t speaking, listening, writing, or silencing the voices in her head, you can find Kim running very slowly on the streets of Charlotte.
(Live blogged by Kseniya Martin)