I woke up hungover this morning - but not the kind I experienced in my early twenties - and who am I kidding, in the last six months. Last night I got into it with someone I love, I grew tired and impatient with them and when they lashed out I shut down and shut up. It’s a pattern, one I find myself entering into with friends who truly matter. I hate this state of relationships though - when life gets real and all of a sudden you are comfortable enough to be your true self with someone. Trouble is, no one really likes seeing people for all that they are. It makes us annoyed and uncomfortable when someone is as honest as one can be.
Why is that?
We’ve grown up in a masquerade, pretending and dancing around the truth of ourselves. A few years ago I stopped dancing that way and decided to be honest with myself and with those I cared about. I was lied to for so long by so many, including myself, and what good did it do me? So I am known now for my matter of fact ways of speaking and challenging people - for my blunt ways of approaching subjects - and for telling my friends what they might not always want to hear. People don’t like it when I take the mask off, they don’t like it when I stop dancing, because they’d rather stay distracted. People don’t like the truth.
Sometimes, speaking the truth can fall on deaf ears because of my poor consideration of timing and impeccable lack of grace. Sometimes my words mean less because speaking truth over situations doesn’t mean anything will change. And as a self proclaimed control freak, I hate that. I hate it when all logic points in one direction and then things go another. I hate watching people make the mistakes I did because it hurts so bad.
So I tell the truth - and once in a while where I’ve come from and what I’ve done becomes part of that truth telling. I hate baring these scars for the world to see, because I don’t want to be defined by who I was then. I just want to be me now. But then what is the point of this grace I’ve found? So I show people the scars. Some people turn away, some people make it less than it is, some - some take heed.
That’s all we can do, isn’t it? Be honest with where we’ve come from? To tell people of the roads we’ve traveled, the valleys we thought we’d die in - the mountains we crawled up and summited?
It isn’t up to us to make them listen. It’s up to us to be patient - and to continue to tell the stories of redemption, and hope, and grace. That’s the part of these scars that might be the hardest to accept - waiting for the good to come from them. Because if we are honest - we don’t want our mistakes to be in vain. Humility is hard to come by and healing - healing is a long road to freedom.