I left a beautiful, heart-shaking wedding last night. I felt an internal storm brewing all night, so on my way home I tried my usual processing tactics of yell-singing Beyonce and powerful car dancing. 😀 Last night that wouldn’t work. Something was different, and I felt the big, beautiful thumb of the Lord on a big red button in my soul.
When you are faced with what you want but don’t yet have, when you’re challenged, there’s some options you have. I used to stifle the storm, force the skies shut, and let it pour internally while refusing to face what was happening. In gutsier moments I’d yell, cry, and form the storm into words and let them hang in the air. Neither brought comfort. Last night, challenged by the courage of the people around me, I got honest. Uncomfortably, beautifully so.
I wrestled last night on the drive home with this beautiful love I saw growing in front of me. The wedding vows destroyed me. It’s the stuff of dreams to say what these two people said to each other. It’s the fabric of what my heart longs for, and seeing it displayed in front of my face was the shock of hope that makes you assess what you’re currently expecting.
For so long I had been expecting crumbs instead of loaves in every relationship. Beggars take what they can get and don’t ask for much. Those who know they’re valuable decide what their standard currency will be.
Insert hipster indie movie end-credits, moody emotional voice-over: “We accept the love we think we deserve.”
I processed honestly for the first time in years why crumbs felt like enough, and hit the sea floor of my heart. Disappointment, expectations, pain rolled out in a healing way, because I finally decided to be brutally honest. I had been sugarcoating pain for God, because this weird thing slipped in. I thought because he liked all his kids so much he wouldn’t want to hear the pain of some messes they’d made. This isn’t true, and was super emotionally stifling. He’s REAL big and good at emotions. I also didn’t have a game plan after I admitted how hard certain situations were, so the thought of admitting how brutal current realities were without being able to change them seemed even more painful.
But I talked and cried and talked and cried, and for the first time in years felt love reach out and touch me.
Hiding from pain and the honest truth had robbed me of the comfort I had needed for so long. I still stand with no solutions, but the challenges don’t feel so huge anymore. Now I stand with God as a friend and with a heart that’s waking up. Emotions and struggles that had been so amplified by denial have quieted into what feels like a flattened lake. Honesty didn’t create the perfect storm that would wipe me out, it quieted the F5 that had already been raging in my heart.
Honesty has a high cost, both honesty with people and with yourself.
I spent my younger years making excuses for people, pretending, and convincing myself that I was unaffected and above painful things. This felt like an easier truth than the fact that I had no idea how to work through pain or that in some situations I was stuck and virtually powerless. As an adult, no longer.
The cost of honesty then and now is high and worth it: The cost is ‘the way we do things,’ the adjustment of relationships, and the known. What you gain is freedom, steadiness, and a feeling soul.
When we’re not being honest with ourselves we miss 100 opportunities to get loved by a really incredible Father. In my life it led to hopelessness, anger, and throwing myself under the bus so to speak. Our hearts feel for a reason, they guide you well away from unnecessary pain and turmoil and lead you toward whats fun for you and what makes you feel alive! When we’re detached from them, we can miss the big red WRONG WAY signs and get smashed up on the highway! No collision is irreparable I’m learning, but why go there if you don’t need to?
When I don’t have hope that a relationship or a situation can be better, ‘it’s not that big of a deal’ can feel like a reassuring statement. Denial is never bliss. Your heart is important. What matters to you, what you need is important. If it’s not important to the relationships around you, it’s time to set limits or get new relationships.
We can get afraid to be honest when we feel powerless to change situations that feel hard. There was a time when I felt like denying that I wanted a certain standard of relationships would help with the fact that I didn’t see having them as a tangible possibility at the time. Instead of holding onto a standard and hope I chose to agree with disappointment and people pleasing, which ultimately cost me way more than honesty would’ve. Honesty makes room for ‘not yet.’
Honesty begets change like spring begets the blooming leaves that are making me allergic to the world right now.
In a similar way, getting honest can turn everything upside down. If I don’t like certain aspects of a relationship, I’m now responsible to change them. If an environment doesn’t feel fun, it’s my job to manage how I respond and how often I’m in it. Honesty makes us freely responsible.
If you’re feeling really unhappy, angry, or listless you may be feeling powerless. If you’re afraid to confront and are choosing to adjust yourself to accommodate for pain or dysfunction, you may be feeling powerless. If you constantly feel run over in your relationships, you may need to get honest.
It’s not the path of least resistance, but it’s incredibly worth it 🙂
You’re actually completely capable of building the life you’ve imagined, a happy one! All the good parts!! There’s a cost along the way and it requires guts, which thankfully you have lots of. Hey you gutsy one, go for it!