What’s Wrong With Admitting We’re Broken?

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Photo Credit: ashley.adcox via Compfight cc

Every week I hear from stressed-out women dealing with enormous upheaval in their lives. I’m glad they can talk about it. Too many can’t. For a minute, it makes my problems seem small. For a MINUTE, mind you. Then I wake up to the drama of my own life. It does no good to compare my issues with anyone else’s, or work up gratefulness to suppress the malaise, or minimize my trials. It is what it is, and we all have stuff we’re facing.

I just let God sort me out right where I am, even though plenty folks would love the opportunity. God likes it when I’m real. So do I. Much better than exerting useless energy trying to get others to like me when I first need to accept myself. In my world, I still deal with losses, look for ways to de-stress, accept my circumstances, find the joy anyway, and replace my stinkin’ thinking with the truth. You might say I’m being transformed by the daily reprogramming of my stinkin’ thinkin’.

What if how we respond to life is half the battle?  

Some of our stress feels hoisted onto us through unexpected events. I call these the avalanches of life, when we’re hit full force by death, a diagnosis, divorce – name your own avalanche. These are bone-crushing changes, mostly out of our control.

The chronic daily stuff, however – what I call the drip-drip stresses of life – will eat at us over time. Some of this we can change, or at least the way we respond or react. One day we wake up and realize we’ve been held hostage to a bad attitude for 30 years. And no wonder! We spent decades living for everyone else! Maybe the only time we felt truly comfortable with God was when we were clicking away pretty good on that religious  treadmill . . . but, oh dear. . . then the treadmill broke. What does God think of us now?

Sadly, we might discover everything from our faith to our relationships have probably suffered a quiet erosion, even the little self-worth we thought we had. That is, if we believe that brokenness belongs to others, and not us.

Surprise. We’re all broken.

Why else do we try to hide it? Why else do we stand in the need of constant grace?

Brennan Manning once wrote:

If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated not become a light for others. We cling to our bad feelings and beat ourselves with the past when what we should do is let go.

Why do we try so hard to maintain appearances when our insides are falling apart? Is that why we hide behind pious phrases, cliches, and religiosity? To appear more spiritual?  This is a dilemma. For if we won’t come out of hiding, there’s fear. But perfect love casts out all fear. So hiding must indicate we’re not really believing we’re loved – or am I making sense here? To know love is to drop the charade. To be free to be exactly who we are. We no longer need to perform; we need only to believe. If we did believe, wouldn’t that stop us from projecting all our insecurities onto others? Wouldn’t that ease the feeling of fear and shame? What do you think? What’s your journey been like?

I’ve so appreciated your good comments this week. So many beautiful sojourners here. Thank you for joining in.

Your sister scribe,

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Second Journey Scribe

Second Journey Scribe

Living the journey. Telling the story.

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Comments

  1. Deborah Erskine says:

    When I was a teen, I once heard a good (older) friend say she disliked “plastic people” – those who hid behind the masks of smiling faces. She also would say the eyes are quite telling and will reveal if the person hides behind a mask, or is being genuine. For me, I’ve become quite good at even not revealing things through my eyes….sunglasses work wonders in the summer months….but alas, winter is coming…is it not? ;) Good post.

    • Hi Deborah, and thanks. Appreciate your thoughts. I’ve not thought much about the eyes although they’re said to be the very “windows of the soul.” What do we hide through the camouflage of our very words? What about your sunglasses makes you feel safe? (inquiring hearts wanna know). Love you.

  2. Oh, sweet friend! The hard questions! Isn’t it easier not to look? I immediately had two thoughts:

    1. From Miranda Lambert’s “This ain’t your Mama’s broken heart”

    Go and fix your make up, girl, it’s just a break up
    Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady
    ‘Cause I raised you better, gotta keep it together
    Even when you fall apart
    But this ain’t my mama’s broken heart

    2. From Tumblr post I saw today:

    “Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.”
    — Marc Hack (via baveuile)

    At the end of it all, there’s Jesus. That light shining in us and then through us, covering all of our broken parts and completing us. But, like so many, why do I not believe it, embrace it, lean into it at all times? Grace upon grace, perpetual grace. We live moment by moment, forgetful little creatures.

    More questions than answers.

    Love your heart!

    • Yes, Tina, it’s easier not to look ;-) but soon catches up with us. Thanks for those lyrics and quotes. Really meaningful in light of the post. If we operate from the truth that we’re already loved and fully accepted, isn’t it easier to be who we are, warts and all? Thanks for visiting – I’m late responding!

  3. I love you sweet friend.

  4. Real scares people. Working on being real without words

    • Hey Carrie. Probably so. Wondering if it just scares the ones who are busy playing peek-a-boo. I find I’m freer to express myself in the company of those who are comfortable being real themselves. Btw, I love your real-ness.

  5. This is an internal battle for me. I know I’m loved, I’m real and choose not to hide. I have a doubt come at me from whatever or whomever and I doubt my belovedness and want to crawl into a hole and hide for eternity. It is when I know I am loved and choosing realness and vulnerability when I feel most alive and in touch. The other is like death, I know that kind of death. I’m glad it doesn’t stick around too long.

    • Thanks, Rebekah. Love your heart. And ditto to this: “It’s when I know I am loved and choosing realness and vulnerability when I feel most alive and in touch.” The other truly is like death. Appreciate this so much.

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