This morning started off a little difficult.
Between not having my daughter for her birthday, staying out way too late after a concert last night and hearing some sad news about a friend, I was in a rather foul mood. Coupled with some typical, everyday stresses and discovering some despicable characteristics in a few people I know, I ended up talking to a friend about how I was losing faith in humanity.
Their response: “It seems as though things are trucking along quite nicely for you”. And they meant it. And it was kind, and of course, it started me thinking.
It’s so funny how we all have such different perspectives on things.
People that I catch up with on Facebook get to see this almost glamorous, carefully crafted and elegantly edited version of my life. They get to see the good times we have, the successes, the moments I feel are “worth” capturing.
They see my job, my new house, my precious kids… the adventures, the good times, the laughter.
But they don’t see me when the lonely takes over and I veg out with ice cream in my oversized sweats. I don’t take pictures of my house when I am too exhausted to clean after a full day of work and school and trying to be a good mom. They don’t see the times when my heart is breaking because I have friends that are knocking on death’s door. They don’t see that I’m not always the happy woman with the two gorgeous kids. Sometimes I fall apart. I triple check my locks before I can sleep at night. I love far too hard, far too fast, and far too long. I worry about what people think of me. I miss my mom all the time, but still forget to call her. I get hives and shake when I walk into a group of more than two people. I am invisible to most people. Especially those I most want to see me. I feel like I am failing as a mother when my kids act up or I don’t spend “enough” time with them. My clean laundry might sit on my bed or chair for days before I get around to hanging it up.
I struggle, every single day, with feeling like I’m not enough. Not skinny enough. Not funny enough. Not good enough. Not kind enough. Not doing enough.
I struggle every single day with being too much. Too emotional. Too busy. Too needy. Too distant.
And I cry. A lot. It’s a recent development.
But honestly, does anyone really want to see that side anyway? It’s not a side that encourages people; it doesn’t bring a sense of joy or peace to the world around me. I feel like maybe I should hide those messy parts of my life. Keep up the facade.
Then again, when I was going through the hardest times in my life… when I was so battered and bloody and beaten that I could no longer rise on my own… Did I need that filtered version of other’s lives?
Or did I need raw, unedited authenticity that would have allowed me to realize I was not alone?
Did I need a fraudulent view of another’s life, or did I need to know there were people in my life that were trudging through the same trenches of becoming better?
Vulnerability. Frailty. Damage. Fear. Mistakes. Faults.
And that, my dear friends… that’s where our power lies.
That’s where the true beauty of our lives are revealed. It’s the broken pieces of our lives molded together to form a beautiful stained-glass mosaic that inspires the people around us.
How awesome or perfect I am doesn’t speak to a hurting person who feels like they have failed. Overcoming my own hurts and sharing my journey with them. That nourishes a hungry heart. That feeds a starving soul.
I am a survivor. I have a tale to tell. I am a fighter. And I will forever be fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves… until eventually, they find their own strength.
True bravery, true guts… That is about being transparent, being vulnerable, being real. And in the moments we are the most real, we are the most beautiful.
So, my dear friends… I am sharing my ugly with you. I am sharing a little piece of this battered, beautiful heart. And I want you to know that no matter what you are going through, you are not alone.