• Hope Women's Centers

Breaking Free From Shame

Do you ever struggle with the fear that you won't belong? Anxiety may hit before attending a social gathering, applying for a part-time job, or stepping into the halls of a new school. Maybe it's kept you from pursuing new friendships, seeking a leadership role, or trying out for a team. If this sounds familiar, you're not alone! Human beings are born with a deep need for love and belonging, which is why rejection is such a prevalent fear.

The fear that you are unworthy of love and belonging is called shame. Most of us come into contact with the voice of shame at an early age. When left unchallenged, it's accusations can shape our identity and define our worth. Shame can take hold when you fall into bad habits or make a decision we regret.

If someone has experienced physical or emotional abandonment, shame might persuade you that you are unlovable or unwanted. In moments of rejection, shame may convince you that they are unworthy of belonging and community.

After instances of abuse, personal tragedy, an unplanned pregnancy, or abortion, shame will often shout accusations of being "damaged" and scare you into secrecy.

Shame can also creep into your life after a line has been crossed, especially when it comes to sex. It can take hold of our sexual history, identity, emotional baggage, and scars and spread the lie that you are broken, lost, or beyond repair.

How do you break free from the voice of shame?

Go to a quiet space and work through these four steps. Record your answers in a journal.

Identify the moment

When have you felt overwhelming shame? Did it happen after a mistake, an instance of abuse, or words of ridicule? Several occurrences may come to your mind.

Pinpoint the lie

What lie or lies took root at that moment? They could be that you are "unworthy of belonging," "incapable of success," or "damaged beyond repair." How have these lies affected your life?

Rewrite the narrative

Many of us have allowed the voice of shame to dominate and define us for far too long. It's time to take back your identity! Courageously replace each of the lies you've believed with the truth.

Here are some examples:

Lie: I am unwanted

Truth: Although I’ve experienced rejection, I am wanted, loved, and needed. I am worthy of friendship, community, and belonging.

Lie: I am incapable of success

Truth: In spite of the disappointments I’ve faced, I was created for great things. Because of this, I can look to the future with beautiful expectations.

Lie: I am damaged beyond repair

Truth: My past does not define my future. Although what happened to me was wrong, who I am is not wrong! I am valuable, whole, and an ambassador of healing for others.

Let someone in

Shame is bread in secrecy. Although exposing our past requires courage, it also brings great freedom. Write down the name of a friend, parent, leader, or counselor with whom you can safely share your story.

"If we share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive." - Brené Brown

Shame doesn't get the final word in your narrative. Your worthiness is not fragile or up for debate. You are more valuable, capable, and precious than you have yet to know.

What’s next?

If these statements resonate with you, we’re here for you. You can talk to us about what you’re experiencing, find healing from a past abortion, and learn more ways you can break free from shame.

If you need STI testing, we can provide that too - no judgment, no shame, just the caring support you need.

All services are confidential and free of charge.

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Hope Women's Centers in Broward County Florida

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1400 E. Oakland Park Blvd, #201
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334

943 SW 71 Ave. (Rock Island Rd)
North Lauderdale, FL 33068

10081 Pines Blvd, Suite E-1
Pembroke Pines, FL, 33024

Monday   9:30AM–5PM
Wednesday   9:30AM–5PM
Friday   10:30AM–1PM

Tuesday   9:30AM–5PM
Thursday   9:30AM–5PM
Friday   10AM–1PM

Monday - Thursday   9:30AM–5PM

Saturday   10:30AM–1PM


991 SW 71st Avenue,
North Lauderdale, FL 33068

Hope Women's Centers is committed to providing you with everything you need to make an informed pregnancy decision.  We believe women and men have a right to get accurate information from a resource that will not profit from the choices and pregnancy decisions they make. Hope Women's Centers is a 501c3 non-profit in the state of Florida. We do not provide or refer for abortions or emergency contraception.  All our services are confidential and free of charge to you. Contact us to learn more.