Month: February 2019

The Tragic Shame Game

The Tragic Shame Game

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS

“God can’t possibly love someone like me.” I hear statements like this at least once a week in my counseling practice and it makes me very sad. Those words come from Christians who believe God cannot and will not accept them because of their sinful nature.

But they could not be more wrong. What they’re doing is projecting the negative feelings they have about themselves onto God. What they are really dealing with is shame.Shame Label Cover

Satan came up with a great emotional mind-bender when he invented shame. He knew it would be one of the most powerful tools he could use to keep us separated from God and others. He uses our mistakes, regrets and past traumas to generate on-going emotional and mental distress within us. He knows shame is the most toxic of all emotions and can leave Christians feeling hopeless and isolated.

But that is not the life God envisioned for us. His desire is for us to live an abundant life in which we experience peace and joy despite whatever circumstances we are facing. However, shame will prevent us from achieving His desires and in fact, will drive us away from Him.

But there is an antidote to our shame. It is called Grace. Through His remarkable Grace, we can be free from the darkness of shame and understand God takes our past and puts it in the past. You see, God is not looking backward, He is looking forward.

But sometimes simply having the insight God loves and accepts us unconditionally is not enough to break free from the shame we feel. We still want to run away and hide. But you can’t hide from God. He sees our brokenness and understands it causes us shame. Let’s look at Psalm 139 for the truth.

“If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Psalm 139: 11-12 NIV).

God tries to explain to us – “do not be afraid to approach Me with your shame. You try to keep it in the dark away from Me, but that is not possible because I know your shame and I will bring it into the light. Bring your shame to me, not so that I can condemn you, but so that I can remove it from you”.

This is a powerful message for those who believe God can never accept them because of their sinful behaviors. But once again, the idea that God is unapproachable and uncaring is nothing more than Satan’s lies designed to drive a wedge between God and us. What we need to believe is He accepts us and loves us unconditionally despite our brokenness and sinful behavior.

Learn more about shame and how it impacts our relationship with God and others, as well as it’s effect on our destructive behaviors in the book entitled: Removing Your Shame Label: Learning to Break From Shame and Feel God’s Love. Order your copy today at: Amazon.com or http://www.BarnesandNoble.com

Are You Chasing Your Spouse?

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS

The romantic stage of a relationship lasts an average of 12-24 months. And once it passes maintaining a strong emotional connection can be difficult for most married couples. The busyness of life, the addition of children and simply being too inwardly focused are all factors that contribute to couples drifting apart emotionally. But there is another factor that comes into play when we discuss the changing dynamics of a relationship between couples. They tend to take each other for granted.  700-00609918

We begin to simply “expect” our spouse will always be available to serve without needing to be appreciated for the value they bring to the relationship. Over time, these couples find themselves walking through marriage on parallel paths. They may engage engulf themselves in work; make the kids the number one priority in the household; involve themselves in excessive activities like computer surfing, gaming, and hobbies that allow them to avoid engaging with their partner on an emotionally intimate level.

But as time passes, one or both individuals start to become discontent with the relationship and feel there is something missing. To correct this negative trend, they need to start chasing each other. Chasing is a process that consists of three steps.

  1. Put Aside Your Fears. As couples stop attempting to engage with each other on an emotional level fear is established. This is the fear of “being rejected” should they try to re-engage with their spouse. The rejection fear develops over time as individuals make attempts to engage but find themselves ignored or dismissed. After a while, they just stop trying to engage. But that is exactly where Satan wants you. While he understands he may not be able to destroy your marriage, he can certainly attempt to make it a miserable one. Drop the fear and take a chance.
  2. The Chase. Make daily efforts to genuinely engage with your spouse. For 10 to 15 minutes, take the focus off of yourself or the kids and place it solely on your partner and what is going on in his/her life. You also can: send cute and funny text messages; leave a romantic card on their pillow; buy inexpensive gifts; offer to do them a favor. The key is to generate a new perception in your spouse’s mind that you are actively thinking about them.
  3. Allow Yourself to Get Caught. If your spouse is making an effort to chase you, slow down enough to get caught. Don’t bush them aside by saying how busy you are but instead notice the energy they are putting into the relationship. Getting caught doesn’t take much effort – what it takes is being aware that you’re being chased.