“Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.”
Morgan Harper Nichols
Honesty. Raw, unfiltered, vulnerable honesty about life and living and the secrets behind the facade.
It changes the world.
Sometimes I’ve felt the pressure to put on a happy face, to show the world my smile and my shiny life (only after I’ve scrubbed off the tears and debris and shoved the mess back into the cupboards of my heart).
When I realised that this was diametrically opposed to living a full and meaningful life, I was nervous, surprised and then relieved. Oh. so. Relieved.
So does this mean that if I have a bit of a messy heart and if my mind gets itself in tangles sometimes, I don’t need to hide this?
If my marriage shows cracks and my kids muck up and I say something ugly, I haven’t broken the golden rule(s)?
Not at all.
When I put on weight and struggle to gain control of my body and when my house is messy and matches the messy in my heart, does this mean I’m still on track?
Because I believe that our honesty, vulnerability and true-hearted sharing of ourselves is what will and does change the world.
Because life can still suck and days can still be exhausting and lives can still tangle.
We’re never alone in the suck of it all. Never alone in the exhaustion and the tangle and the mess.
Somewhere along the way we’ve developed a sense of responsibility that if we’re going to live a full and meaningful life, we need to put up a grand and lovely picture of a healthy marriage, happy family, fulfilling life.
And while those things are goals, they’re not the every-day-reality [The sooner we acknowledge that they won’t be our every-day-reality until Heaven, the happier we will be, ironically].
When we show our raw and honest reality, when we share our stories and refuse to hide our pain and vulnerabilities, not only do we step closer to accepting ourselves as we are, but we also hold out a hand to someone else. We say, Yep! We all struggle, we all have our moments and you are so okay!
When the lonely teenager or the newly single mum or the struggling wife walks into a room, or into our home, or into our church, do we want her to feel intimidated by the pristine-ness of our ‘lives’? Or do we want her to breathe a sigh of I’m-glad-I’m-not-the-only-one type relief?
That’s how I want to change the world. It’s how I choose to allow my battle scars to change the world. To stop the intimidation and the facade and the shiny: in my corner and in my home at least.
I want to encourage people on the journey that I myself have walked. I want to encourage people – you, my friend – to love yourself, just the way you are. And to embrace your story.
Hard stuff happens. Terrible stuff, even. But let’s not allow the pain to be exacerbated by the hiding. Let’s allow honesty to heal us – and let’s allow it to heal those around us.
Let’s allow honesty to change the world.