Fifty Shades of Uncertainty

Living a life of uncertainty until the roots of the problem are revealed.

Karen Esbenshade

Fifty Shades of Grey: a book review written with uncertainty.

Erotic romance novels are not my thing. When I was forty I read Fifty Shades of Grey. The first part of a trilogy written by E. L. James. The book lured me in by the lurid love affair between a man and woman. The first book demanded my attention but the story did not compel me to read further. I lost interest. For certain I can tell you it is not Fifty Shades of Grey’s message but how it is executed. The book did not stimulate me.

What does it take to capture your attention? What compels you to keep reading?

It has been twelve years so to be fair I can not accurately review this book. What I will tell you is during this time of my recovery I see the book through a different lens. Sure sex piques are interest but what compels us to read further? My interest lies in the backstory. When I research themes pertaining to the book I find control, power & wealth, innocence, trauma and love & romance. The majority fixate on control and power. A male dominating his power over a vulnerable female, but it is his vulnerability which I question. It is the trauma which intrigues me. The trauma they both endured from their childhood which motivated their actions. This is what motivates me to read more.

Let’s put Christian to bed and focus on another character.

The following fictitious encounter is an example. A story about a woman with a shameful past, repeating an unhealthy cycle into her adulthood. We don’t know what had happened in her past or what is to follow. She is a woman with a troubled past who hasn’t had any healing and stuck somewhere in between.

A Fictional Encounter

A story stuck in the middle with no beginning and no ending.

I wake to the calm before the storm as the moonlight bounces off the curves of my body. I look around the room. My head is in motion while my memories freeze still. Paralyzed. It is my past, which holds me captive.

I hear his shallow breaths, relieved he is in a deep sleep. I watch him intently. His chest rises then falls, his muscles tightening with anticipation. Aroused. He is rattled awake.

I retreat into the covers, pulling them over my head. They get caught up on my scars which run deep. I sink into my despair. Looking for a place to hide from my shame, but it is my past which keeps me exposed.

Fifty Shades of Grey getting unstuck in a story while living a life from uncertainty.

The fictitious woman is who I want to read about. She is the woman who has a story to share.

The sex is what catches my attention, but it is the intimacy between the characters that compels me to read.

Sex in novels isn’t for everyone but the intimacy that develops between broken characters can be beautiful. There is power in intimacy, between the broken people and how their flaws can be used to strengthen each others weaknesses. Think about the developing relationship of the characters being vulnerable enough to heal from one another’s flawed selves from their broken past. Now that is a story I want to read about.

My writing style isn’t for all. I write about shame and it became apparent that when I successfully portrayed a character based on the shame of her past my stories have made certain individuals uncomfortable. Which tells me these stories need told. I need to disassociate the shame of my past, surrender and relieve myself of the guilt which weighs me down. Then I can better serve others, letting them know we don’t have to journey through life wrestling with our struggles alone.

Healing is difficult and takes time, but it allows us to break free of our past. Five Ways to Heal the Emotional Pain of Your Past is a great read to initiate your healing.

Through accepting and processing our past we are able to surrender to Christ. For He has died for our sins and through Christ our sinful ways have died to be reborn with a pure heart.

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

2 Corinthians 5:14 NIV

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As an imperfect human my growth has been spurred on by a life catastrophe, because I chose to ignore my struggles. Instead of choosing to look inward and identify the source of the problem, which was ME, I placed blame on the society around me. The end result was to numb my discomfort and quell my anxieties with that one glass of wine. By the grace of God I was able to seek forgiveness and unearth my flaws. Through sharing with others I was able to accept my flawed self and learn I did not need to suffer alone. The result peace, from a loving God, not the spirit in the bottle.

What are your struggles?

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3 responses to “Fifty Shades of Uncertainty”

  1. Interesting post! I love what you said about the sex grabbing your attention but the intimacy is what encourages you to read. I love a sex scene but if that’s ALL there is then I get bored. I did enjoy Fifty when I read it like, a decade ago but I wouldn’t read it again now.

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