When I read Shelly’s chapter, it struck me how your social influences will shape your guilt or shame. What is shocking to one person may not be shocking to another. She wasn’t writing about feelings of guilt or shame in her chapter, but she was sharing secret truths from her past with fellow church friends one night, and her story left everyone in shocked silence. Someone finally spoke up and told her that she is a miracle.
From what I understand, her mother was an alcoholic. She and her girlfriend grew enough pot in their backyard to sell to people out of their home. In spite of her salty upbringing, Shelly was a sundress-wearing french-manicured pastor’s wife, sipping wine with friends on a warm summer evening.
Shelly’s message is that, by sharing the parts of you that may not be the norm for your social group, you open the door for others to bring out the heavier things that they may be carrying. Your bravery, through faith that you’re not defined by anything but God’s love for you, inspires others to trust that they’re not defined by the their salty parts either. Not unless they want to be.
I, for one, am drawn to the salt in others. I prefer it.
“And perhaps this is this is where the beauty of redemption begins, in releasing the ugly parts of our story held captive by shame” (page 164).
Holly Gerth wrote the 26th chapter of Soul Bare. She titled it “You’re Not Alone”. I’ll write my thoughts about her chapter next.