“As a state of being shame takes over one’s whole identity. To have shame as an identity is to believe that one’s being is flawed, that one is defective as a human being.
“Once Shame is transformed into an identity, it becomes toxic and dehumanizing. Toxic shame is unbearable and always necessitates a cover-up, a false self. Since one feels his true self is defective and flawed, one needs a false self that is not defective and flawed.
“Once one becomes a false self, one ceases to exist psychologically. To be a false self is to cease being an authentic human being.
“The process of false self formation is what Alice Miller calls “Soul murder.” As a false self, one tries to be more than human or less than human. Toxic shame is the greatest form of learned domestic violence there is.”
—John Bradshaw, *Healing the Shame that Binds You*
Why We Hate to Confess Porn/Secrets/Lust
So why is it so hard? Is it because we have a hard time being truthful? No, because many of us are truthful about other things. Is it because we do not want help? No, because many of us do.
Confession is so hard because we love ourselves. In our heart of hearts, we care about how people see us. The last thing we want to be viewed as is the porn addict. That immediately lumps us in with a class of societal rubbish—serial rapists, murderers, pedophiles, adulterers, prostitutes. It is not pleasant company.
What is so hard to see from that place of secrecy is that so much of our shame is of our own making. We do not tell because we are afraid others will ultimately see us the way we see ourselves. We think there can be no way that confession leads to anything other than humiliation. We imagine forever walking around with a label, doomed to bear the condemnation for our sin for the rest of our lives.
But we are wrong.
Confession leads to grace.
Confession removes one of the last obstacles standing between us and freedom—our pride. We love ourselves, and the moment that we admit that we make mistakes, the moment we confess that we actually aren’t that lovable, that love of self dies.
You would think that a dead love of self leads to self-loathing. After all, if I do not love me, then I must hate me, right? No. A dead love of self leads to brokenness, a sense of unworthiness, a sense of helplessness, and that is exactly when grace shows up.
But confession actually paves the way for grace. Grace, not shame, comes to the humble.
Killing the Shame
Shame is a product of our secrets. Keeping my struggle a secret only made me feel isolated and, at times, inhuman. The longer I kept my secret, the more I believed I could never share it. The longer I kept silent, the darker and stronger my sin grew. The longer I kept silent, the more convinced I became that I would just have to live the rest of my life with this.
With confession came light, hope, and freedom. With confession came the death of my overly high opinion of myself. No, I did not have it all together. Yes, I had fallen. Yes, I desperately needed help. That night, I acknowledged that I desperately needed his grace.
The beautiful thing is, it came. (lol ;))