The last few days’ weather has been dazzling to say the least. I am so blessed by the sunshine. I told the spouse I think we stole someone else’s weather, because usually about now it is 40’s and raining…and raining…gray skies….and more rain. So I am particularly grateful for this spate of lovely weather, even if it is brisk and nippy. Sun is sun.
I spent most of my young adult years attending fellowships where…much like the SNL skit of the ’80, it “was better to look mahvelous than to feel mahvelous, and you look mahvelous.” Thing is, looking back on those days, I didn’t look so hot either (lol). Mostly, I said what was expected of me, acted the way I thought I was supposed to, and kept my agony to myself most of the time. I was surround by a lot of well-meaning people doing the same thing, so it was relatively easy to blend in.
The only time it began to “get real”…that is, I looked behind the curtain at the small man spinning the levers to make OZ look great and powerful, was when one of my closest friends suffered a nervous breakdown.
Mind you, I was no stranger to meltdowns of many sorts…they happened pretty regularly in my family. This I was used to, because I saw all the crazy that led up to the crap hitting the fan. But in church, where the cards were held so close to the vest, this was a new experience. My friend was in a service position and a mother of several children. Sweet, college-educated and with a profession of her own dedicated to serving the church and her family. And then one day she completely snapped and ended up spending a lengthy amount of time in inpatient treatment for self-harm. I was beyond shocked. She had not shared her pain with me, and I had not shared my pain with her. I realized we had both been too frightened to let down our guard in the environment we were in. The fear of judgement, of rejection was tremendous. As I saw her walk through the disintegration of her family and old life, I tried to keep in touch, but at the time, with no recovery in my life, it was more than I could bear. I saw too much of my own fear in her story.
But I was soon to walk through my own valley of the shadow of death, of my old life, expectations, and assumptions. It had to happen, and I am thankful to be on the other side of that valley. Recently, my path wound its way near to the old valley of “regardless of what’s going on inside, make sure you look good”. I was amazed that little had changed, and that the people were the same. But I had changed. And though I walked nearby this area, I never really entered in, because I could not force myself not to feel what I feel, and not to be who I am, good, bad or otherwise.
One of my dearest friends calls it “speaking my truth”. I look at it as “living my truth”. God still loves me, lives in me and is in charge of the reclamation process we call RECOVERY. I am too dang grateful for this to go back, regress, revert, whatever. Sorry. Nope-ity, nope, nope.
So, that’s my story for today. Whatever you are doing, do it because you are being real and honoring God, yourself and others. Don’t get those confused, or leave one of them out. There’s too much at stake.
Much love and sunshine. 🌞