Many people–and Latter-day Saints are no exception–
struggle with feelings of “not being enough,” worthlessness, or that they are unlovable by others, God, and themselves. Those who feel this way are caught up in the throes of toxic shame–a distortion and perversion of natural and healthy feelings of “guilt” over wrong choices or healthy types of shame that help moderate the ways we act in public and in interactions with others. The gospel teaches us of our infinite worth and of our Heavenly Parents’ unconditional love for each of us no matter what mistakes we make. So why do we so easily forget these things or stop believing them? How is it that our aspirations to be better persons so often end up weighing us down and distorting our view of ourselves–and instead of helping, end up hurting our growth?
In this podcast episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists Jennifer Rooney White, Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, and John Dehlin discuss feelings of guilt (healthy shame) and toxic shame and attempt to lay bare what causes their confusion in general, and within Mormonism, in particular. They also discuss some of the very positive messages and examples within Mormon scriptures and history for coming to a healthy relationship with ourselves–one that fully recognizes our own inherent divinity and worth while also still fully acknowledging our great capacities for sin and error in ways that will not cause us to pull away from God and our ideals or to fall into destructive patterns.
After listening, we invite you to share your thoughts in the blog discussion below.
Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife will soon be in Salt Lake City to lead two seminars.
The topic for Friday, September 23rd , is “LDS Women and Sexual Desire.”
The topic for Saturday, September 24th, is “Enhancing Sexual Intimacy for LDS Couples.”