I’ve seen a lot of funny/interesting things on the internet lately – mostly on Facebook – that begin with the title of this post. In fact, I just posted one myself on Facebook today. After I posted it, I got to thinking of the nature of embarrassment and imperfections. That awkward moment I had today and joked about on the internet for the whole world to see, is the sort of thing I never would have admitted to at one time in my life.
I find it interesting that as I’ve gotten older, I make fun of myself much more readily than I did before. And not in the same self-deprecating way of my youth, desperately attempting to hide my insecurities behind a coping mechanism of humor. But now it’s in more of an honest, vulnerable, “this is me; love me (or hate me) as I am” sort of way. I won’t pretend that I don’t do it at all, but these days I spend a lot less time trying to cover up my imperfections. And you know what? It’s very freeing.
I think that most of this openness has come just in the last few years, as a result of my entrance into the world of 12-step recovery. There are secrets that haunted me from my early teens into adulthood, and it wasn’t until I found a safe place to confess them that I began to have freedom from the hold they had over me. I finally began to learn that everyone has their own struggles, and I don’t have to pretend to have it all together all the time. It’s unbelievably exhausting trying to please other people, and when I first started attending Celebrate Recovery meetings, I was barely hanging on by a thread. I watched a movie recently where some 1950’s housewife ended up in a mental hospital after a nervous breakdown; while watching, I found myself thinking that I could so easily have ended up in the same situation. I did my best to hide it, but I had all but given up on life, and I was quickly losing my grip on reality.
I am so thankful that I found a support system when I did. I now have the most amazing friends that keep me encouraged and help to hold me accountable for the commitments that I make to God and to myself. Life still has its ups and downs, but I have the perspective and tools needed to hang on and trust that the One who started this work in me isn’t going to give up on me. I always knew that God loved and forgave me when I messed up, but it wasn’t until I confessed my hurts and struggles to another person and gave up my secrets, that I began to know what true freedom feels like. Healing comes in community with other people.
In so many ways, I’m still just as clumsy, awkward, and hopelessly flawed as I’ve ever been. But owning my imperfections gets me closer every day to becoming the woman God created me to be. If you have secrets that are holding you prisoner from the peace and freedom you deserve, please find someone you can talk to. It can change your life in a way you never knew possible. ♥