When our hearts are married to our shame, we wed ourselves to the most unloving and claustrophobic spouse – “me”:
I take thee Shame as my wedded refuge.
When I sin and fail, I promise to hide myself behind good works and pretense. When I do sin, I promise to never repent or say, ‘I’m sorry.’
When I feel contaminated by my own sin or sins committed against me, or with sins by association with family and friends, I will hide myself in thee.
When the feelings of worthlessness come, I promise to either go shopping or hurt myself; whichever is appropriate for the moment: self-gratulation or self-mutilation.
When I am rejected by someone important to me, when I feel inferior, I promise to use the tools of manipulation, guilt, revenge, and silence to win their approval of me; I might even take them shopping and buy their affection with a toy or I might hurt them.
When I have failed, I promise to poison my heart with self-loathing curses. When I feel like trash I will receive nothing good from no one.
I Promise to trust in no one, especially in God.
I Do Promise to trust in Masking Tape: all the unsightly and un-presentable parts of my falleness will never see the light of day and never know the freedom of forgiveness.
I Promise to wallow in shame and self-pity, ever crawling about in the dirt of my wretchedness.
I Vow to never come clean with my sin – it’s too humiliating – appearance is everything, as you have taught me so well.
I Vow this day to identify myself with the rejection, neglect, and worthlessness of what others have done to me and what I have done to myself.
I Vow to Need man’s approval and never permit anyone to correct me – I’m so much in love with you, Shame, that it terrifies me to think that people will see the real me – the one who struggles with sin and imperfection.
I Vow to never let anyone know that I need them.
I Vow to feel that all my worth comes from my performance.
Shame, I do now commit myself to the misery of never being honest with myself, with others, or with you know Who, Him who would love me and forgive me no matter what I’ve done, no matter what has been done to me, no matter whose icky associations have come near me.
In my worthless name, I say, “I Do.”