There is something so freeing about admitting we are not perfect and that in fact we are broken or as I like to say a mess. Life gets messy for all of us at times. When I allow myself to be vulnerable, with someone safe, I begin to feel safe and strong. When I take advantage of being in a safe place with a safe person and I take my mask(s) off (being real about where I am in the moment) that is when I truly connect and begin to heal.
Some of those vulnerable moments come from normal everyday stressors of being a mom, wife, business owner, church member, friend, etc. There are times when I reach out to a trusted friend and I share that I am overwhelmed or that I feel unappreciated as a mom or wife. While that may seem small to some, the feelings associated with it feel very big at the time. Feelings of frustration, defeat, overwhelming stress, anxiety, fear, and anger just to name a few. During the course of the day any or all of these feelings can come and go.
During counseling sessions, I've had people tell me that they don’t feel like their pain or their struggle is “real” because they haven’t been through some major traumatic event or horrific childhood. As if what they are experiencing is insignificant or silly. I reassure them that their pain is very real and that we all go through difficult times. Their story is just as valid as the child that was abused. When we have our pain and experiences validated, we are able to believe that our voice and experiences matter. As a counselor and friend, they matter to me and they matter to God. (Side note) Prayer is a tool that I utilize daily and It works. I can be completely overwhelmed and begin to pray and share my current situation with God and usually I begin to feel better right away. However, there are times when my situation and feelings require prayer and conversation with a safe person. I've heard some Christians say they feel as if they can't go to God in prayer with what they deem “little” or, “minor” problems. I explain, just as they have shared their pain and feelings with me they can share them with God in prayer and that he cares about it all, the big and the little.
I’ve noticed that there is a lot of comparisons going on and I don’t think that is necessarily new. However, I do believe that it is exasperated by the use of social media. It seems as if we are using social media to showcase only the positive aspects of our lives with the world, which makes sense. I mean who wants to broadcast their mess? The problem is when we see that everyone appears to be living a picture perfect life and we look at ourselves we can begin to feel as if we are failing at life or that somehow we are the only ones struggling. While intellectually we know that this is not the case, we simply can’t help but feel that way. If we don’t open up and talk about it with someone we can begin to slip into a depressive state feeling alone and hopeless. Sometimes, all it takes is a friend saying- me too, girl I am a mess too and agreeing to pray for or with me.
My hope is that you can find comfort in knowing that I’m a mess and so are you and guess what---- it’s OK. The reality is some days just SUCK and we will fare better if we give ourselves permission to not be ok. Remember it’s ok to not be ok. Your little problem that feels so big really does matter. You are not silly or unreasonable for feeling the way you do. Be kind to yourself, unplug from social media, reach out to a safe person, go to God in prayer and allow healing to take place. Embrace your beautiful messy self.
I know this to be true- HEALING IS POSSIBLE and takes place in relationships, relationship with God and relationships with safe people.