By: - May 1, 2012

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In the final chapters of the book, Anatomy of the Soul, is Chapter 10 Neuroscience: Sin and Redemption. This chapter discusses shame, rupture, and repair. We and our children feel shame when we suffer a rupture, a disconnection.

The way he described shame struck a cord with me:

“…the sensation of shame is so basic to the human condition that perhaps the most precise definition is the painfully acute awareness that something is wrong with me. It is the felt sensation of deep inadequacy…Shame can develop in children as young as eighteen months of age; some researchers suspect even sooner. This suggests that the sensation and experience of shame is active in the mind and body of a child before the development of language and logical, linear thought processes. In other words, nonverbal cues such as facial expression and tone of voice may make a child feel shame long before she can logically comprehend why she feels that way.”
Thompson M.D., Curt (2010-05-24). Anatomy of the Soul (p. 193). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Then Thompson goes on to describe how we use rebukes (braking) appropriately, but if we do not help our child through those braking situations more issues can develop:

“Usually in this situation, however, a parent will quickly follow an abrupt rebuke with an expression of affection or an explanation to help the child make sense of his or her action. However, when this form of braking is not followed by a clear behavioral or logical reconnection, the child feels shame, which can lead to a barren wasteland of emotional confusion. This whiplash shift between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems can become wired so tightly in the child that the affect of shame is automatically triggered at the slightest hint of perceived disapproval.”
Thompson M.D., Curt (2010-05-24). Anatomy of the Soul (p. 194). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

I would hate for any child to find themself in the “barren wasteland of emotional confusion.” And I know none of you are guilty of reacting out of exhaustion (the kind where you are woken up about 4-5 times in a hour only to experience it again 4 hours later and you start to think your children hate you and sleep), but if you have perhaps experienced a weak moment, then I recommend reading Anatomy of the Soul to find out more on shame, rupture, repair and yourself. While my posts have focused on relating to my children, there is more in Thompson book about recognizing what is going on with yourself and how to foster growth for yourself not just your children. It is definitely one of those books that I’ll find myself consulting again and again as I grow in all my relationships.

Don’t forget, Curt Thompson (author of Anatomy of the Soul) will be the featured speaker at the 2012 Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference on October 27, 2012.  Be sure to mark your calendars now to join us for this free all-day conference at Irving Bible Church.

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