By: Laura Bennett
Feelings of guilt and shame are universal. We all have times where it seems we can’t get away from our past mistakes, and where present day failures could ruin our chances of future fulfilment. However, there are pathways out of shame, and that’s what season two of Hillsong Channel’s NOW with Natalie is set to tackle later this year.
After a successful first season with guests including singer Kelly Rowland, NBA star Tyson Chandler and fashion designer Jerry Lorenzo talking about identity and purpose, host Natalie Manuel-Lee said, “Where season one was about not being defined by what we do, season two is really about how you’re not what you have done”.
“[We’re not] our mistakes or our frailties or the shame we put on ourselves,” she said.
“A lot of times we don’t realise those things that we’re feeling actually stop us from really knowing our true purpose and identity; shame wants to rob us [and tear down] our mental head space. Shame is a universal topic; we all go though it. We all go through guilt and shame and having our failures feel like they define us.”
In the lead up to season two, Natalie caught up with model and media personality Hailey Bieber for Catching Up with Natalie & Hailey — a four-part series covering marriage, comparison culture, dealing with shame and purpose.
Natalie now calls Hailey “sister” after the pair struck up a friendship through her brother’s fashion label Fear of God.
“We met through crossing paths there,” Natalie said, “and we just connected. Hailey’s family to me; we built our relationship off of trust, and over the years have just built a great friendship, relationship and sisterhood.”
Hailey also appeared on season one of NOW with Natalie, but Natalie wanted to have her back to talk about how shame has affected her life, and what it’s been like since marrying Justin and becoming a wife.
Hailey said on the show, “We all wish there’s things we’d never done, and decisions we didn’t make — mistakes we didn’t make”.
“But what I learned being married is that every bad decision I made — everything I was making myself feel guilty for, actually led to me getting married, and it led to me being a wife…It taught me that we all have shame and we all have guilt but it doesn’t have to define who we are; it didn’t have to define me,” she said.
Natalie said she knew of the time Hailey went through dealing with shame, and dealing with all that guilt.
“She wanted to speak about it. And I wanted to give her a safe space to do that. I always say the greatest way to serve is to tell your story,” Natalie said.
Part of Hailey’s story included sharing about how her Christian faith has helped her process discouraging feelings, and adapt to married life.
“There’s so many people that look at these famous people with these big lives…and they think that it must mean that they don’t feel human. There’s so much inside of me that I want to say, and such a difference that I want to make…it’s so necessary in this day and age to spread love and to spread positivity and spread the message of Jesus,” Hailey said.
“There was a time in my life where I was living very ‘performance-based’, but serving Jesus isn’t about performance. And for a while I didn’t understand that; I didn’t understand who Jesus was, really.”
Throughout season two of NOW with Natalie, a number of influential guests (still to be announced) will explain their own pathways out of shame, reminding people of the humanity of those at the top of their field.
“People that are high up in their sphere have a microscope on them,” Natalie said.
”The whole world sees every mistake that they make; every misstep that they make. People who don’t have that platform or have that huge following can sweep things under the rug much more easily but either way it’s not healthy.”
To be free of feelings of shame, Natalie believes, “you have to confront it. To be honest, and transparent and vulnerable. For me, even in this time of quarantine, I realised there are certain things I’d never confronted that I need to confront in order to be free. It was really about the pattern of my thoughts.”
Natalie also weighed in on the current racial tensions facing the US.
As a person of colour, Natalie said for true change to occur, “The spirit needs to change. There needs to be a spirit of humility. I think white people in general need to know that they don’t know what it feels like — they don’t know what it is, to be a black male or black female and speak about [issues of race]”.
“Change starts in the Kingdom (the church), and I feel like we’re at a place where we’re divided in the church because we have [multiple perspectives on race] and we need to realise that we can’t hate our brother and sister and be a Christ follower. We just can’t.
“More white people need to speak up about what’s going on.
“I posted a ‘White Allies Challenge’ [on Instagram saying] we need our friends who are not of colour to speak about these things because how much more can we (the black community) speak up about it?
“Obviously you’re not going to feel and understand our pain, but you can at least have empathy and compassion,” Natalie said.
One of the challenges she observed within the American racial divide, is that aspects of black culture are embraced — but not always the people behind it.
“It’s very painful when you feel like America loves our culture but when it’s time to speak up about us they’re silent; there’s an issue with that.”
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.
About the Author: Laura is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.