If you follow the popcorn trail leading to my closet, you will find a sweet, bright eyed little girl who found her momma hiding there. She looks at me so sweetly as if she found me only to reassure me. She squats down beside me on the floor and offers me a bite of her popcorn. My heart is happy to see her because her smiles are a source of joy for me on a daily basis.
Life is hard. It is trying. It is a journey and along the way we are making mistakes and learning. Growing emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.
One thing that makes the process hard for me is not knowing if I am “ok”. When I have melt down moments that are ugly, I think “no one else feels like this! No one else looses their mind like this!” When I come unglued and have moments where I just think I can’t go on any more, I think “what is wrong with me?? Why am I so crazy?” I read books and blogs and listen to podcasts and I hear people share their story and they all seem so well rounded and well spoken and even if they tell me a story about how they had a “moment” it doesn’t seem near as nuts as mine.
But guess what I have learned? I am not alone. I actually started being REALLY honest with a couple of very close friends- not leaving out details. Before, I would kind of be honest, you know tell the story but sugar coat it a little or leave out the parts I thought were just to bad to tell because I was fearful if they new the whole truth they might judge me or think I am too unstable to be friends with. But despite my fear, I started telling.it.all.
The first time I admitted everything I had said to my husband during an unraveled moment, I was nervous. My friend said “Wait, you really said that?” My voice was covered in uncertainty as I said “yes, yes, I did.” Then she said “Oh my gosh I love that you said that! I have so been there and had no clue if that was normal”.
Wait, what? You have done that? Suddenly I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I couldn’t believe that my friend had been there feeling like I had felt too. I slowly started to admit more and more of my struggles. The times I had laid in the dark, on the cold floor of my closet crying. The moments I grabbed my keys and purse and contemplated just leaving with no plan or sane thought in tow. The moments I had sheltered from my friends before, were out of fear- of judgement or rejection, and out of embarrassment.
I want to break the cycle of believing lies. Lies that say we are alone and no one else faces the issues we have. The only way to do this is to be honest. Really honest. Find a friend or two that you can be raw with. My friends haven’t walked the same road I have. They don’t face the exact trials I do. In fact, I might just be the craziest one in the bunch, but in being honest with them, they are now being able to be honest with me. They share their stuff too. Even if it isn’t the exact same stuff, they feel safe enough to do it.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4
In Philippians 2, Paul is telling the church that they need to learn to serve others but not selfishly. To humbly see others. I read this and can’t help but think of how much we can offer one another. Words that stand out in this passage are encouragement, comfort, love, affection, joy. Do nothing of selfish ambition but in humility count others more significant than yourself.
Ladies, please hear me! We need to decide to create a culture where we can be honest and real without fear. We need to be a community where we can say “I had a moment” “I made a mistake” “I am not ok right now” and then know the response we get will not be judgement. When I am at my worst, choose to see my best. We need to be friends who can see the ugly parts of each others lives and encourage each other through it rather than judge. Lets be grace giving women who love each other, not judge each other!
Lets stop painting unobtainable pictures of our lives that aren’t real. Can we decide to be honest? Maybe it will be YOU who decides that you are ready to be brave enough to be honest and share the not so pretty parts of your life, making others feel comfortable to share theirs.
This is a journey and we are all working to be our best selves but none of us are perfect and life sometimes gets the best of us. We don’t want to stay stuck in the yuck but rather be able to live outside of the lie that life is perfect. Admit it when things stink and then be there for one another, encouraging and loving through the mess! When we believe the lies that no one else is struggling we just stay stuck in the struggle, but when we feel safe enough to share, we can truly start healing!
So, will join me, crying on the floor in the closet? Maybe your kids will bring popcorn and come watch the show! Then, we can laugh about it later and remember we are all in this together!