I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.
And not just your highlight reel, but your blooper reel too. I want to see all the skeletons in your closet. Your wounds, scars, weaknesses, the bodies in the trunk of your car, go ahead and bring them all out. Somebody needs to see them. We live in a culture of angles and filters, auto-tune and photoshop but real influence will always be hidden in vulnerability. There’s power in confession, when we are brave enough to admit that we don’t have it all together, that our life isn’t perfect, that is when we are the strongest.
When I first started waking up spiritually I was a hot mess.
I was only married for a couple years, and I was already separated and facing a divorce. A casualty of a broken and abusive childhood, I was struggling with addiction, low self esteem, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual issues. I was “tore up from the floor up” as they say. That’s when a well-meaning friend started inviting me to these women’s gatherings. and instead of helping it only increased my self-hatred and confusion.
The women at these gatherings appeared perfect.
I felt like an alien as I listened to them talk about their wonderful husbands and brilliant children. I found myself looking for the nearest exit sign and panicking that someone might ask me a question about myself or my family. I imagined myself blurting out that my husband was an ass, I was sleeping with a guy I met at a party, and I’m pretty sure I have a half drank bottle of vodka under the seat in my car. I left every gathering feeling like I must be even more screwed up than I originally thought, especially if these women represented the normal reality of domestic life.
But it wasn’t reality. I learned years later that some of the women I met at those meetings were cheating on their wonderful husbands, because they weren’t so wonderful after all. Several had prescription drug addictions, eating disorders and chronic physical pain. More than half had a serious bout with depression or anxiety over the years, and nearly all of them felt isolated in their pain while they strived to hide the truth from everyone around them.
Masks – women are great at wearing them.
We are taught to keep our “crazy” hidden. I wrote this blog as an invitation to let it all hang out. There’s a wise saying that says, “when you confess your weaknesses, failures and faults to another you will be healed.” I take that to mean that there is a power that can only be accessed through confession and vulnerability. I have personally witnessed it in my own life and in the lives of others.
There is nothing more beautiful than when a heavy and hurting soul, beleaguered with shame and secrecy, bravely shares their story. They might expect to met with disapproval, but instead they are met by cries of “me too” and “I thought I was the only one”. They realize the very thing they have been hiding from others, is the very thing others needed them to share. When you own your past it no longer owns you and it gives others permission to do the same.
So how about it? Are you ready to get naked?
Are you ready to be free? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!