Some days it is difficult to express exactly what is going on in my mind and my heart, and it’s easier to skip writing a blog post. The reason it’s so hard to express it isn’t because I don’t know what’s going on. It’s because I don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want to show myself as weak, or struggling with whatever it is I am struggling with. No one wants to be seen as recidivist, but sometimes that’s what I feel like. My natural inclination is to hide it, to appear as the wise expert, to show everyone how I’ve succeeded and to convince you I can fix you too if you’ll just listen.
In confessing this today I’m not trying to make it sound like I haven’t had any success. I have made a lot of progress in my life journey and at 52, I am happy about how settled it can feel to have some years behind me and a reservoir of knowledge and wisdom and strong intuition to help me in my daily life. In the last three years in particular, I have grown and matured and overcome a lot and it feels refreshing to see things from this new perspective that I have. I feel expansive in my new ability to respond in measured, sane ways to the challenges of life. I feel empowered because of the many “tools” I have to help me get through experiences that would have knocked me flat in days gone by.
But as much as I have grown and as wise as I am, I am human and I have days or sometimes even weeks when I feel like I’ve slid backwards in my journey. If my ideal is to really be who I am in front of everyone, to be authentic and transparent, it means that I can’t be afraid to say I’m still challenged sometimes by the ups and downs of regular life. If one of my callings (after the callings to be a wife and mother and friend) is to help people realize they can succeed in the journey of life, then how helpful is it to present myself as perfect and all fixed when the truth is that everyone hits roadblocks and setbacks and bad days and embarrassing moments? I need to be relatable, real, honest.
I still have those terrible days happen to me. And I cry, and I stress over it, and I think maybe I’m broken all over again. But then I remember to open my toolbox and apply some of the things I’ve learned.
My number one tool is Truth. To be honest, I don’t like to use my Truth tool sometimes because it feels more comfortable, more familiar, to tell myself the old lies and believe them. My Truth tool still feels unwieldy and awkward to pick up and use, especially when it has been shut up in the toolbox for a little while, a bit neglected. But when the pain of sliding back becomes greater than the awkwardness of the Truth, I remember. I take a deep breath, open up the toolbox, and lift out that heavy Truth and hold it up, like brandishing a sword. It is Sting, the sword of Truth. And yes, the truth does sting at first. You’re being selfish. You’re being childish. You’re stubbornly holding on to the lies. But as the light of that Truth begins to sink in through my stubbornness, it becomes a balm. You are good enough. You are loved, unconditionally and completely. You are forgiven and welcomed and danced over. You are not perfect and you never will be, but you are lovable and intended and cherished by the Maker.
And that’s a pretty good start back on the road to sanity.