Why is it so hard to be honest? I think sometimes we take these tiny glimpses into someone else’s life and we assume that they are more put together than we are. We stare in through picture-frame windows wondering what they are doing so differently from us. What keeps them so…neat? But, the reality is, and I think we all truly know this, there is no magic aura floating around their life. There really isn’t some secret that we haven’t been invited to share in and, truly, I think we all know this. So, why does it feel like there is?
Do you have something about yourself that you would never share with anyone else? Of course, that’s perfectly normal and completely okay…but I think it gets interesting when we dig deeper than the “what” and look instead at the “why”. Are we afraid someone will realize we aren’t put together? Are we afraid we won’t be looked up to? Are we scared of being rejected or made fun of or seen as someone undesirable? Probably we can all answer yes to each of those questions and even the most honest person can have secrets…which again is normal and fine. But if you are keeping secrets only because you are afraid of what happens when you’re suddenly pushed into the light, maybe it’s time to take a deep breath and let down your protective barriers…because it’s okay to not be perfect. I promise.
A long time ago, I really truly hated myself. I hated myself with so much fury and passion that I thought the only way to end the agony was to end me. And I tried. There was a lot of emotional pain that came with that kind of hate and it lasted for a long time. Unfortunately that hate has often carried over into my marriage and into my family life and while it’s SO much better, I can put up defensive walls in a matter of minutes when things start to feel too intense or too dangerous. I am healed of my past…but I have tendancies that will probably remain a struggle (albeit lesser with time) for the rest of my life.
I love meditating on the way Jesus walked with people. I love the way he showed up even in chaos and struggle and I love the way he didn’t look down on people who were messed up; broken. Instead, he loved them. He just loved them and he loved me when I couldn’t.
I know mental health is becoming an increasingly talked about subject, but it sometimes feels like the people who are talking about it are the ones who are already through the hard part and that’s definitely what I tend to do. I tend to go through my challenges and then open up about them. It’s incredibly rare that I would admit to someone when I am in a current place of struggle. Why? Because it makes me feel weak and emotional and those are two places that I’m not comfortable with being; especially with others. But the truth is…I am weak and sometimes, when I allow myself, I do feel sad and emotional. I know for a lot of people it takes great energy to get to the gym and stay active, but for me it comes easy because I let my anger and my frustrations and mental stress out during intensive training sessions and then, afterwards, I feel human again.
Mental health. The word mental has been taboo for nearly my whole life. It has such a negative connotation and it’s scary to admit that we might be struggling mentally. But really, it’s not so much the struggle that’s scary as is the result of not sharing our struggles with others. We become isolated. We become dangerous. And it can happen to anyone. No one is immune and the best way to protect ourselves from going down those dark paths is to love each other, to open up, and to become a culture of honesty.
I am pursuing my mental health through many healthy and routine habits, but I don’t feel my best currently. I am exhausted in all ways and I don’t foresee a lot of rest for the next couple of months. Being in a season of huge transitions isn’t easy but I’m okay with hard. So, I’m documenting the beautiful moments, the captivating every day moments because life will always be just life but even mundane, ordinary days can be full of magic and wonder so long as we keep looking with eyes wide open and hearts readily available. And that’s why I have started this blog….this is my space, my story….and you’re invited to walk alongside me as I navigate and as you navigate your own story. I hope that you feel safe here and that you know that I’m not put together and that I’m honestly not trying to be. Jesus helps me keep it together even when I would rather just be an angsty pile of poop. And, that’s cool with me.