May 2013


While doing an exercise on sharing what’s under our mask some insight came to me. Many of my weaknesses I sought to fight and/or hide has become instruments of grace in my life.

My loneliness and self-doubts were internal companions once thought of as destructive. I both feared and hated feeling any insecurity. Now they have become welcomed parts of myself as I have been learning to lead with brokenness. They were once instruments of the enemy and now have become instruments of grace. Weakness stops being something feared but something loved.

So I thought of how it changed and I recognized a movement of these from my youth to my old age. I came up with five phases how the weaknesss/brokenness we deal with moves from disgrace to glory. These are just some thoughts about these phases.

Live out of it unaware
In my youth I wasn’t really aware of my insecurities. They just ran my life. Ugh. Those were definitely places of darkness. I am glad the light came in.

Become aware of it and try to defeat it
There came a point that I realized these insecurities however they were pointed out to me. I sought to overcome them, compensate for them or hide them from others. Oh yeah. That was successful. Not.

Realize your helplessness of it and feel defeated
So came the even more painful place of realizing in and of myself I can’t defeat them. It becomes a very discouraging and even hopeless for this place it not for the stream through all these phases that God promises something great out of brokenness.

Learn to accept it and work with it
There is a turn around in this phase. Something starts being okay with these internal companions. They are not friends yet but they become useful for me. Spiritually, they keep me humble and they even serve to be helpful when doing ministry. I start recognizing their work of good in me.

Learn to embrace it and recognize the power of grace out of it
This is the completed 180 degree turn around. It is the ‘power is made perfect’ place. I am good with my weaknesses and see how they are given to me even as beloved companions for the journey of becoming more like Jesus.

These phases are cyclical. We return and repeat them in our journey. At certain times we mainly are living out of one phase. We cannot hurry through them. We can get stuck in them. Many are stuck resisting these gifts of grace. But the grace of God seeks to bring about a great transformation when these weaknesses and broken parts of us is our glory, not our disgrace.

th-1

Advertisements

jesmigrace and the development of self

She came home with mom excited about a pottery class they did together. She loves the wheel. She loves getting her hands in the wet clay. She loves the creativity. She doesn’t always love the practice needed but she loves the results. And I love watching her love something.

She also has had late night talks with me about her friends and their interaction. She loves talking and giggling, hugging and laughing with her teammates, troop members, school and church friends. She loves connecting. She doesn’t always like the rejection and the conflict but she loves belonging. And I love watching her connect.

Sometimes she tells me of character and faith choices she makes. She ponders difficult things (see prior post) about life, God, death and love. She loves maturing. She seeks to be good. She doesn’t always love the sacrifice and the struggle in making good and loving choices but she is proud of herself when she does. And I love watching her become a young lady of character.

I observe my daughter continually forming who she is, what she can do and where she fits in. That is the joy of fatherhood (or motherhood I assume). God has given her, as he has given all children, the potential to grow in these three areas: her being, her belonging and her doing. It is His common grace (that gift which God has given to all people) that allows the wonder of developing the sense of self.

Sin causes fractures in that process of development, be it original sin, sin upon us or our sin choices. It has caused fractures in us. We are broken and what we were intended to become is interrupted. It is a biblical principle: Brokenness besets brokenness. That is the principle of this universe; spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally, and relationally. Though we are capable of greatness (being made in the image of God), we are held back because of our brokenness. Because of the disobedience of our first two forebearers, all of us are left defective and unable to deal with sin and its consequences of meaninglessness, helplessness, and hopelessness upon our lives. This was placed upon us by Adam’s sin and reinforced by those who sinned against us. Broken parents impact their children out of their brokenness. Broken governments impact their communities out of their brokenness. Broken people impact broken people.

It is my fatherhood that feels so much pain when my daughter’s inner life (her being) is mixed with corruptible elements of shame or her outer life (her belonging) is corrupted with comparisons with others or her active life (her doing) is corrupted with measurements of judgment rather than joy. My father-hope is in the Father’s intimate grace for her, a grace He gives to those who seek Him and know Him.

Intimate grace restores that wonderful process of development. It heals those areas of being, belonging and doing in our self. The work of the cross and the presence of His Spirit in us does that good work of transforming the old broken stuff with new whole stuff. Intimate grace gives new means beyond the natural. And when I can observe those Divine moments of Grace displaying itself in my daughter’s life, my joy runs deeper.

What should motivate us in striving in life? In growing in our being, belonging and doing? The answer is to be amazed at grace. Sometimes I see that grace working in me. Sometimes I see grace working in my daughter, my wife, my friends, my church and around the world. And I am struck and moved deeply. Such wonder is the drive to “work out our salvation in fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12).

See the grace in what He gives to all. Be amazed at it as grace is given to those who intimately know Him. And out of that wonderment-pursue to live out grace in your life.

photo (exerpt from Resisting Grace)
By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet I, but the grace of God that was with me.—1 Corinthians 15:10

If we understand what God has done through means of the death and resurrection in Christ, the foundation of transformation in our lives is laid. This continual process is dependent upon understanding how God imparts grace to us throughout our journey with Him in this life, knowing that He has purpose and intent in His daily involvement with us. So what does grace look like? And how do we receive grace rather than resist it?

We know God uses various means of grace, from Scripture, circumstances, a still small voice, and other people. Grace comes from the reading of the written Word of God as well as the inner hearing of the words of the Holy Spirit. Grace comes from God-given light by the signs of the circumstances around us. Grace also comes through the words and actions of people around us. These are His instruments of grace.

Throughout the centuries, countless followers attested to the reception of grace through these various means multiple times throughout their lives. But what is He trying to do in our lives by using these, and what should we be looking for to see the Father’s work within us and others’ lives? His grace has certain techniques. With these techniques, grace seeks the results of providing illumination, awakening, determination, deconstruction, empowerment, and transcendence, all of which we will explore in further chapters.

The ongoing process of grace doing God’s good work within us can be seen in what I call breakthroughs, beauty, and the grind. In these three things I expect to find God working. These are the ways grace is given to us as change is produced within us. Grace gives illumination, awakening, determination, deconstruction, empowerment, and transcendence out of these workings of grace.

By means of His Word, His Spirit, His people, His Creation, or even His providential oversight of circumstances, God’s grace may be using an approach of a breaking through, providing beauty, or taking us through the grind of life, so as to illuminate our minds, awaken our hearts, bring determination to our wills, disable our props, empower our hands, and transcend our spirits. Breakthrough, beauty, and the grind are the techniques of how He imparts grace. Illumination, awakening, determination, deconstruction, empowerment, and transcendence is what God in His grace is imparting to us so to bring about the great transformation promised to us.

Breakthrough—The Hammer
“And the walls came a-tumbling down.”

We expect God to act in our lives at times by breaking in and intervening through powerful demonstration. Throughout Scripture and history, we see God breaking through. Sometimes He does so with miracles of healing and sometimes with radical power that falls upon us. Second Samuel 5:19-20 says, “Then David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them into my hand?’ And the LORD said to David, ‘Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.’ So David came to Baal-perazim and defeated them there; and he said, ‘The LORD has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters.’” Sometimes breakthroughs are obvious and powerful demonstrations. At other times they are subtle and barely noticeable except upon examination. The Spirit of God assists in helping us recognize that these things come from Him. God’s interventions most often are at important crossroads of our lives and when we are in need of a deeper understanding of Him.
In 1975, I was a new believer, barely a year into my faith. I was using the devotional book Streams in the Desert1 as my daily readings during prayer. I was eighteen and from my point of view, things around me were falling apart. Inside of me, looking back, I was seriously depressed, feeling alone and pretty hopeless. Yet for some reason—merely by grace—I remained somewhat faithful to this short time of daily reading of this book. On the night when I was feeling my darkest, as if everything had fallen apart and my heart was crushed in despair, May 7, I opened up to that day’s reading and it was entitled, “Wits’ End Corner.” The Scripture used was Psalm 107:27-30.
They reeled and staggered like drunken men;
they were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.

These verses jumped out of the pages, striking my heart deeply. I felt surrounded in my little bedroom by the presence of God comforting me and marking my heart so deeply. “I am here. You can trust Me.” I sensed Him in that moment in that place. The message came through so clear! My young faith needed that, and the peace that passes all understanding came. This was a breakthrough of grace.

I have seen people I counsel have breakthroughs. Sometimes it is out of a structured activity I lead them in. Other times it is in a quiet moment between us where they have that “aha” moment. I once wrote simply in my journal, “Sometimes I don’t know how I had a breakthrough…that’s grace.” Sometimes grace falls on us like a hammer. At other times, it falls like a gentle wind.

It is written in Corinthians that we are His letters. He writes into our lives for others to read. God is a great writer. He knows how to add thrills and depth in the stories He writes. Sometimes I don’t trust Him enough with the story He is writing in me. The part he writes now is not as I would write it. Maybe it is too painful, too lacking, too lonely. I want him to ease up, spice it up, or just stop and take a chapter break. But it is I who must stop and look back at the pages before and remember, He is good at it and He is good to me.

Beauty—God sending flowers
It was when I was happiest that I longed most…. The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.—Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis2

We can expect God to act in our lives by providing us wonders and delights that fulfill the soul. He has given us the beauty of creation. God saw all that He made and it was good (Gen 1:31). He has given us the beauty of the image of God within us. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Beauty is in our fellowship with one another. Psalm 133:1 reads, “How good and how pleasant [lovely] it is when brothers to live together in unity.” And of course, beauty is given in Christ Himself as it says in 2 Corinthians 2:14: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”

What is beauty? I put this question out on Facebook. Here are a few responses (I wonder why the only serious remarks I received were from my female friends!):
Jon Ido Warden: Tell me, what is beauty?
LH: Been pondering this since your first post…To me, beauty is any of a gazillion possible things or moments that arrests our attention and makes us realize there was an Eden and there is a Heaven. It is whatever transcends “ordinary” moments and shows me a taste of God’s perfection. It almost seems to be a moment that God is speaking to our passions or even “hobbies”. I love music. There are moments when music is “that” for me. But, not everyone likes or knows music so I get that I could play a song for someone and they would be completely uninspired. So that is why I think it is ‘individualised’ or ‘personalised’ as God intersects in the midst of the things we ordinarily do and sometimes our attention is particularly, or dare I say divinely, seized. Maybe this is where Romans 1:20 claims that “men are without excuse” because there isn’t one list of what is beautiful, but rather God works from our frame of reference and if we are fortunate that frame of reference expands as we live….
P.S. as you already know, none of this happens if you are going too fast ; )
LL: Jon, saw a movie about cheerleaders today…now i understand beauty 😉
T: Cubs winning the World Series!
Jon: Would you help me in this section of a book I am attempting to write? It is on beauty and grace. What is beautiful to you?
M: It is when someone comes alongside the “unlovely” and loves them.
J: Hands cracked and wrinkled from lifetime of caring for the underserved.
MJ: Driving up to Toronto on our honeymoon and up comes the sun and the song on our cassette radio plays “Where there is faith.”

Beauty is an object experienced. It is also a verb we engage in. We watch it. We hear it. We smell it. We feel it. We create it. We act in it. Beauty draws us to glory. It inspires and points to something beyond itself. It appeals to our deepest places. Yet beauty leaves us wanting. It itself does not satisfy. It fades. It is not lasting. It is incomplete. It changes from one perspective to another. Beauty, as great as it is, is never enough. We are left wanting more. C. S. Lewis in his great short work entitled, The Weight of Glory, wrote, “What more, you may ask, do we want?…. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”3 Grace must work through beauty and beyond it in producing something much greater in us.

Beauty has the greatest potential for idolatry. Perhaps more accurately the objects and process of beauty can become our idols. Idols are anything that takes the place of God in our hearts, mind, and lifestyles. It is anything you seek to give you what only God can give. Beauty is meant to move us to search for what beauty points to, but we settle and even obsess with the creation instead of the Creator (Rom 1:25). We will look at the man Gideon in the second half of the book. But it is worth noting here that when God was calling him, tearing down the idols was Gideon’s first task toward fulfilling that call. Beauty is the attractions of life. Of course they can easily become obsessions.

Beauty in its truest intent is meant to provide refreshment and help along the way. Beauty, using psychological terms, can be a transitional object that helps us through the stages of faith and life. Whenever we travel my daughter always brings her Gigi, a stuffed animal she sleeps with at home. Having it in a new place helps her sleep in a different bed. It’s the object that helps her move from one place to another. On the journey of life, there are new stages of faith and grace. It may be exciting at times. Most times the transition from one to the next produces anxiety. Many times God provides something beautiful as a transitional object to help us through one stage of grace to the next.

Golf was my transitional object. Up until I turned forty I was very active in sports and working out. I liked having goals in my workouts, going every Thursday night to shoot hoops with the guys (the same guys for twenty years) and various seasonal activities. Then I was hit with an illness that cut my lung capacity in half and left my muscles and joints always aching. I couldn’t run up and down a basketball court. I couldn’t even walk a few blocks with the dogs without getting winded. It was a huge loss for me. Then I came across golf. The inflammation in my lungs had died down a bit. So though I couldn’t run, I could walk leisurely. Something about the game was wonderful. I would even venture to say beautiful, for me. The outdoors, the companionship, the tweaking of my swing were all a part of filling the hole left behind from sports. I admit I got obsessed with it, even a bit idolatrous, but it was definitely a gift of the grace of beauty that helped me through a difficult transition. Eventually my joints couldn’t continue playing, so I get out once a year now at best. I pulled out my guitar and started up that again after a good ten-year layoff. That also was a transitional gift of grace. When my fingers got stiff from arthritis I tried the slide guitar. That’s also a gift. Lately it has been woodworking in my garage. If my current battles with my eyesight and glaucoma continue to worsen, I will probably lose woodworking. But in this transition, it is a gift. Flowers come and go. What gift of beauty will be given next? I do not know. Lately I have been able to improve in my daily exercise in little steps. Will that continue? I do not know. He gives and takes away. Blessed be His Name.

Fourth century mystic Gregory of Nyssa wrote, “The infinite beauty of God is constantly discovered anew.”4 Through this lifetime and the next, beauty will be revealed continually and continually we will be finding it in new places and in new ways if our eyes of faith lead. Beauty is the nourishment of grace along the path of transforming grace. It is the essential component to help us through the grind.

The Grind—God’s sandpaper
Squeeze me.

We can expect God to act in our lives by means of our struggle to develop something much deeper than relief in our lives. Preacher John Piper tells us that “Hardship and suffering can enhance self-knowledge, strengthen character, loosen sin’s grip on our lives, deepen our relationship with God, cultivate empathy for the misfortunes of others, give opportunity for the advancement of the kingdom.”5 Romans 5:1-5 states, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

The grind is the biggest stumbling block of grace. Many cannot reconcile suffering with the existence of a good and powerful God. It usually isn’t the intellectual arguments that make people turn away from faith. It is the grind, the question of suffering and evil. People may doubt the possibility of breakthrough. People corrupt beauty. But people stumble over the grind. But for me, the grind only makes sense in the context of grace. Reading Romans 5 reminds me that though the world and ourselves are broken and we suffer because of this brokenness, God uses it to bring about the grace that changes. Out of the three techniques of grace, the grind is the clearest molding process described in Scripture. Suffering in the grind is accepted only when what we live for is worth the pain. If we live for the present pleasures, it is not. If we live for the glory offered us, we can bear it, even rejoice in it.

These things I want to see in the beliefs, expectations, and activities of the church: the hammer- breaking through of God (listening prayer, the prophetic, revivals, and healing); the flower- the beauty of Christ in the life of the people (worship, creativity, awe, and joy); the sandpaper- the grind of finding Him through the disciplines and support through trials (Bible study, meeting together, Communion, prayer, serving the world, evangelism, loving one another). As I wait for breakthroughs I look for beauty and I trust Him in the grind. My feet are moving as I push the plow, my nose is sniffing as I smell the fragrance in the air, and my hands are lifting as I appeal for the skies to open up. Some emphasize one over the others but in living in grace, you have got to have all three. Spirituality isn’t all waiting for breakthroughs, though He does give them at times. It isn’t all pushing through the grind, though we must. Nor is it all experiencing beauty, though there is plenty. Sometimes breakthrough, beauty, and grind happen together and sometimes alone. We must keep our faith eyes open to look out for any or all of the three. God, help us see what you are doing.

I thought it was about losing a DVD but it was a much greater lost. It was Saturday evening and we were all going to watch a video Joelle had been keeping for a special occasion. She asked me where it was and I told her I didn’t know. She was annoyed at my response and I proceeded to tell her it was up to her to keep track of her stuff not me. She looked but couldn’t find it and got pretty cranky. I was getting annoyed at her at this point. All our feathers were ruffled, I repeated the scolding about not blaming me or her mom and she went into her room upset.

Several minutes later her mom went to talk to her and I could hear their conversation was getting pretty emotional. “All this for a missing dvd.” I thought. But apparently it was a lot bigger than that.

She was reading a book to settle down from the disappointment of not having the DVD showing and she came to a part in the book that upset her very much. It was of a boy whose both dog and grandma died. That triggered a floodgate of tears.

MJ talked it through with her and then they came into our bedroom and talked to me. She apologized for being grouchy and explained about the part in the book she was reading. Then she said she didn’t want me to die and leave her. She started bawling big time. I told her I didn’t want to leave her too. But I also told her I couldn’t promise her I wouldn’t. I am not powerful enough to promise that. I simply told her I am here now and we would make the most of this day and each day.

We talked of heaven as a great reunion. She asked many questions and we all hugged and cried. She went to brush her teeth and MJ and I just looked at each other knowing this was a holy but very unexpected moment.

I don’t know exactly how much Joelle understands about my health condition, We have talked to some degree and she sees the pills I take, gone with me to the doctor’s appointments and even came to my eye surgeries with MJ. She is intelligent and emotionally sensitive. I can’t help but wonder what a shaping of God’s grace in her it is having a dad with a chronic illness.

This touches at my deepest pain-leaving her when she still needs me. Once long ago I heard God whisper to me in my prayer time, “I will take care of the things important to you.” I hold onto those words dearly when I am in these moments when all the pain flows out. I will needs those words when I can’t hold on.

Unlike other diseases such as some cancers, there is no prediction of when my death will occur. I simply walk around with various compromise in my lungs, heart and other crucial organs. Sometimes I feel real good. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I am so out of touch with mortality (like most people in the U.S.). Sometimes I walk so aware.

It is my place of trust and surrender. I cannot control mortality nor can I even control my daughter’s pain.

In this place of disturbance:
Surrender centers.
Grace empowers.
Love comforts.
15835631-few-lighting-candles-on-dark-background-with-reflection
This morning the three of us sang an old simple worship song to start our day- He is God. Then we prayed together. It was enough. It was good.

This Asian-Pacific Heritage month has taken a big curve in my soul. Boy it is painful to embrace the iniquitous heritage I have. Yet it is mine. I rather hold high the glory given to me than the shame.

I read an article on Japan’s wartime sex slaves and how some Japanese politicians are justifying, minimizing and seeking to hide it from history. It was so painful to read. My Japanese mom and her relatives, what do they think of such things? She was in her teens through her twenties during the 30’s and 40’s. What did she know of such things of war and her country?

What do I do with this part of my heritage? I can’t just hold onto the beauty of my cultural heritage and ignore it’s evil. I can’t just have pride without having humility. If I embrace the honor, I must also embrace the shame.

Covering up shame with beauty is like spraying perfume over body odor that has been brewing from many months of a lack of bathing. No work of mine can cleanse me or my people of the shame. Only forgiveness and grace can.
I looked up The Mission with Robert De Niro so I can watch again the scene of his pardon by the indigenous people of the Guarani community after climbing with all his mercenary weapons and armor tied with a rope around his back. It is a powerful moment when the tribe leader cuts De Niro’s rope and all the weapons and armors fall down the cliff and De Niro weeps.
Can’t scrub enough to get a cleansing of the soul. It has to be given by another.

How does a people find forgiveness from another? I understand it individually. One person offers it to another. But what of a people to another? And how does an individual of a group who in the past has done a great offense make peace? I have heard and seen people groups within the church community express repentance, not for their own personal sins but for the sins of their fathers and father’s fathers. And forgiveness was extended and many tears on both sides were wept.

These reflections of my soul has brought some new light to my theological sense of shame. We come into life out of sin (Psalm 51:5) and out of glory (Psalm 139:13-14).

“Behold, I was shapen (brought forth NASB) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5 KJV

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

Within our human inheritance we have our cultural shame and our cultural honor, our family shame and our family honor. We also inherit the shame and honor of humanity.

We must come to grips with both and receive peace.

Christ offers peace. That is the work he has done for us. This grace is a painful experience to receive. He kisses you with His crown of thorns before He kisses you with His crown of glory. Repentance is painful. Forgiveness is as well. May His work of grace motivate us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

koreanmemorial

For Asian-Pacific Heritage month I have been posting on facebook various you-tube videos that remind me of aspects of my heritage as it relates to my growing up. Included is the band Hiroshima, Mustard Seed faith, my mom’s restaurant menu cover, Zatoichi and various others. I also posted a short clip of the Obon Festival held at the Midwest Buddhist Temple in which I attended in my high school years. I smiled looking at so many people doing the obon line dane (laughing particularly at those who didn’t know what they were doing but having a great time).

Then a though came to me. I have had this thought for a long time since becoming a Christian. That is I wished my church would dance. I attended a Japanese Christian church when I first started following Christ and was sad at the lack of things that were Japanese such as the obon dance. I am still sad that we don’t do something like that and just dance. Don’t we who have the blessed hope have the most reason to – to dance?

I introduced Resisting Grace with this story of my daughter: “One particular Sunday when my daughter, Joelle, was three years old, we visited a church where I was a guest speaking that morning. As the worship leader started to play a song that Joelle was familiar with, she pulled me out into the aisle and proceeded to dance to the music, which she had done many times at our home church. Being a father who wants to encourage freedom in worship and bless her in her expressions, I proceeded to join her in the dance. Trust me, she looked cute, though I…well, I am not blessed with any dancing abilities. As the song progressed, she looked around and noticed everyone else around her in the pews. No one else was dancing. No one else was even moving—they were stiff as boards. Joelle paused. She became self-conscious, stopped dancing, and slowly returned to her pew. She no longer danced. She simply fit in and did what everyone else did—nothing at all. Sad to say, this is a part of the developing brokenness every child grows into in our fallen world.”

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, … Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.” (Jeremiah 31:3-4)

Let’s dance.

obon

What is shame?

General (universal) shame
feelings of inadequacy
lack of self-containment (out of control)
feeling of exposure
Empty and alone

Cultural-base shame
Losing face
Embarrassing another
displeasing family-significant others
self-defacing
not being sensitive toward another
falling short of obligation
losing control

guilt is relational rather than objective

guilt base culture (based on rules)
shame based culture (based on ralationship)

True shame= conviction
Jeremiah 6:14-15
Lack of shame=Losing the pain of doing harm to another
False shame- a susceptibility to other’s (including inner voices) accusations and blaming even when we haven’t done wrong

Asian Shame

I did this survey back in the early 90’s and wonder if you guys think it still pertains. Do you think Asian American men experience shame different than Asian American women? Do you think the first two categories are the main ways Asian American men experience shame as the study may indicate? Are those categories experiences you have? Which ones more than the other?
Thanks for any thoughts you would share

Four components of Internalized Shame

Feeling defective or not measuring up (Perfectionism)
Feeling embarrassed or exposed (or afraid of exposure)
Feeling empty and alone
Feeling out of control

Surveying 190 college students of various Asian American backgrounds and of various acculturation levels (first generation here to fifth), the shame scores were significantly higher among these Asian American students then with large sampling (300 Caucasian students). Also shame scores had no significant differences between the different cultures of the Asian American students nor a difference between the various generation of acculturation (first generation through fourth showed no differences). No differences between sexes, though I suspect different genders experience shame differently. Also the Asian American students scores were highest with the top two categories (not measuring up and fear of exposure) and lower than mainstream sampling in the bottom two categories (out of control and empty and alone).
The internalized shame experience of the Asian American students not only blew the scores of the general population but even outscored the medium scores of the sample taken from an inpatient sample pool.

From Jon Ido Warden (1993) “Issues of Internalized Shame in Asian Americans: Study of Asian American College Students” The Emerging Generation of Korean Americans, Kyung Hee University Press pp283-308

shame1