This is the second post of a five-part series on shame – Find the first one here: Part I. Make sure you subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss a thing!
Last week we began our series on shame. Now, to continue, I would like to invite you to participate in a thought experiment with me.
Imagine removing from yourself all of the identities you carry. As though you were undressing, peel away every layer of roles, rules and expectations that you carry for yourself or that you feel others hold of you. Peel away every message that you are not enough and also every message that you are better than those who are not enough.
Close your eyes and visualize the above. Allow yourself to stay in this place for awhile. Now answer the following question – When you have peeled away all that you can, what remains?
Do you recognise what you see? In my imagination I see something that looks beautiful and special. It is like a diamond perhaps and it is the core of each person. Under all the roles that we carry, under every identity, under all the rules by which we seek to live, there is a pure soul and a pure self. It is not the creation of our identities. It isn’t even the creation of our selves. It is the creation of God. It is you in the purest and truest sense of that word. It is also the place within where God resides. And although God is present in all of us – even in our shame and our identities, the core of the self is the place where we and God are most in harmony with one another. It is the core self that affirms we are not a mistake. It is the core self – in concert with God – that affirms that we are worthy. It is the core self that witnesses to the affirmation that each of us is made in the image of God.
 See the book, “The Immortal Diamond” by Richard Rohr for more on the image of the core self as a diamond.
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Betty Pries has more than 20 years of experience coaching, mediating, training and consulting in the areas of conflict resolution and change. Betty's work with churches and church organizations is guided by her desire to enhance their spiritual and organizational health, and strengthen the capacities of leadership to discern a way forward.