Shame insecurity chronic pain confidenceI’m vaguely aware of my dog’s paw, small and gentle, on my shoulder. His tap, tap, tapping, pulls me from the fog of slumber.

“No,” I mumble, certain day has not yet broken night.

As I roll away from my persistent pup, a knife stabs at the base of my neck and thousands of needles drill into my right shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. I moan, though not audibly. Instead the moan rises within. Echoes within. Resides within.

Within.

That dark space where I bury pain.

When I open my eyes, shafts of light peek through a gap in the drape, and dust motes dance on invisible currents. I sigh at both the beauty of the moment and the pain it carries.

I reach for the bedside lamp and then the dish of dog food on the far side of the nightstand. Bear, on the floor now, prances on hind legs as I pour the food from a baggy into his dish. Feeding him his breakfast from my bed is just one concession made this year as the crushed vertebrae in my upper back work to condense my days. My life.

As Bear crunches kernels of food, I roll to my back and stare at the ceiling. It will be a day of pain. I swallow that knowledge.

What did I do? Did I overdo it again? Was I stupid? Did I eat sugar and cause more inflammation? Instead of enough anti-inflammatory greens?

What is wrong with me?

I drag myself from bed, the only place that offers a measure of comfort.

It’s late. I glance at my phone—6:26 AM. I’m lazy. I never get enough done.

The voice murmurs within.

Within.

That dark space where I bury pain.

In the kitchen, I chat with my housemate as she readies herself to leave for the day. I take a shovel and dare to unearth the pain. She stops what she’s doing, listens, takes extra minutes she doesn’t have, and soothes with patience and kindness.

Love stills the voice.

I carry quietness and peace with me for almost an hour. I contemplate love. Agape. I want more, Lord. More of You. More of Your love. To offer others.

As soon as the prayer breezes through my soul, images flash in my mind. Faces of those I’ve disappointed. Friends I’ve let down over the last decade.  I’m not loving. I’m selfish. I won’t offer love to others.

 What is wrong with me?

The voice hisses. But this time I stop. I listen. The voice is familiar. It is my own voice. Then I remember. And discern. No. It is the voice of condemnation. The voice of shame. The voice of darkness that hides within.

Within.

That dark space where I bury pain.

That space Love longs to illuminate with shafts of light. Of Life. Where freedom dances on invisible currents.

What is the truth? Love whispers.

Chronic Pain Shame Insecurity ConfidenceThe truth is… I had spinach for breakfast yesterday morning and dark leafy greens and roasted vegetables for dinner last night. Laughter bubbles forth.

The truth is… I worked hard yesterday, accomplished much, but didn’t over do. The truth is that I already have three fused vertebrae in my lower back, rods, screws, plates… Now I have three more disintegrating vertebrae. The truth is that over the last decade I’ve had seven surgeries and there’s an eighth on the horizon, I’ve written six books, built a business, critiqued hundreds of thousands of words, and coached countless writers.

Shame scurries away as Light floods within, seeping into even the darkest recesses.

The truth is that I am imperfect and forgiven.

The truth is that shame has wooed me for as long as I can remember, but Love wins. Already and Always.

The truth is that I must accept love for myself so that I may offer it to others. Daily. Hourly. Moment by Moment.

The truth is that false guilt leads to condemnation which leads to shame and death.

The truth is that true conviction leads to confession which leads to the acceptance of forgiveness and life.

The truth is that pain gives way to joy when I listen to the voice of Love resounding within.

Within.

That space where the Spirit of Love lives.

voice shame pain suffering

Ginny L. Yttrup is an award-winning novelist, writing coach, mother, mother-in-law, friend, and companion to Bear, the Entitled Pomeranian. Her fifth novel, Home, releases April 1st. When a novelist loses her way at midlife, can her characters lead her home?

Ginny Yttrup Home Shame pain suffering
Book Giveaway! Follow Shame on Shanty and be entered to win an autographed paperback of Ginny Yttrup’s Home and a kindle copy of Varina Denman’s Looking Glass LiesWinner will be drawn from blog subscribers and announced next Thursday. US and Canada only. Enter HERE.

12 Comments

  1. Veronica Arias

    O My Goodness… This so much reminds me of the “Voice of Truth” weekend nestled in the beautiful Capitan mountains. You taught me “the truth will set you free!” And the truth is you are an amazing teacher. Willing to live your life out loud and like Paul, documenting your pain and your undying devotion to our creator so that others may grow. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • Ginny

      Veronica, the Truth does indeed set us free! And we, my friend, are kindred spirits.

      Reply
  2. Carol Maguire

    Wow, Ginny! Amazing and top notch writing. God’s truth begins to illuminate every deep area within and spill out for all to see and feel and need to praise with you! You are so inspiring and so very loved. xo

    Reply
    • Ginny

      Thank so much for your kind word, Carol. God through us…

      Reply
  3. Sharol Josephson

    The truth is…you are deeply loved, deeply respected. An amazing writer, a wonderful mother, a gracious, funny and authentic human being. And you are the best friend on the planet. That’s the truth.

    Reply
    • Shanty Espinosa

      The encouragement you guys are giving Ginny is an encouragement to me! Thank you for being a light. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Jane Baker

    I like you, and Gos loves you

    Reply
    • Shanty Espinosa

      And God loves you too, Jane. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Theresa a struthers

    What Beautiful Words to read this morning.
    It makes my Fractured Vertebrae PALE in comparison.
    Your Words are truly as Beautiful as you inside and out.
    Always
    Your Aunt
    Terri

    Reply
    • Shanty Espinosa

      I can’t imagine the pain either one of you endure. You’re both an inspiration. Thank you for the reminder to look at things from the right perspective. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Jennifer Phillips

    Wow! That is so powerful! I can relate! I’ve only written one book and write a column but should be more disciplined. Right now, it’s 11:08 am, and I’m having a delicious cup of coffee and am in a warm robe. I should be dressed, face on and productive! Shameful, but thank you for writing this! I’m not going to let shame rob me of restoring my body and mind, but remind myself that God loves me and the rest of the day will unfold as it should! Bless you, Ginny!

    Reply
    • Shanty Espinosa

      I stayed in bed till 10 this morning, but I was working. Sometimes I’m more productive wearing pajamas! Good to meet you, Jennifer. 🙂

      Reply

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