I am forever saying what a mess I am. Not as an insult, but as a claim to the power I have over my life. I’m open and honest and I’ve accepted my mess and I’m sharing it with the world because I’m tired of harboring the shame I place on myself for being a mess. Instead, I’m realizing how much power my mess gives me. It let’s me look outside of myself and realize that everyone else is a mess too. And man, that feels good.
Let me explain.
We are doing Priscilla Shirer’s study of Jonah, in my bible study right now. It’s a study I’ve actually done before. Years ago when I did this, I don’t think I took a minute of it seriously. I was heart-broken from just having found out that my body wasn’t going to allow me to have children any time soon and I was angry at God. So doing it now, where I’m at today, I’m actually noticing things I’ve never noticed before. During one message she says,
“Sometimes your greatest message is the mess of your life”
Wow. How true is that? That’s exactly what this blog is, right? It’s me showing you my mess so that you don’t feel alone in yours. It’s me showing you that if I can make it through this, you can too. You aren’t being asked to suffer alone. You are not alone.
The conversation during the study turned to the feelings of everybody watching you, everybody expecting you to have it together and feeling like you’re not allowed to fail. All eyes are on you. Don’t screw this up. Right? How often do you feel like that? And I looked at the sweet, amazing, powerful and smart woman who said that and I said, “But wait… there’s power in being a mess. There’s power in putting your “failures” on display.” Because that’s when you realize that you’re not alone. And that’s when everyone else realizes you’re human too and that if you’re not perfect, then it’s totally normal that they aren’t too. You have the power to not only look inside yourself and work on your mess, you have the power to give someone else confidence to look inside and work on theirs too.
I had my year and a half post-bariactric surgery check up yesterday. Normally you only go for a check up every year, but when I went for my yearly, I had gained some weight (my mom died the month before). They wanted me to come back in 6 months to make sure that I had gotten back to losing weight. So, as we all know, I didn’t lose the weight. In fact, I gained more. So I have spent the past 6 months shaming myself for what I had done. I spent the past week leading up to the appointment letting myself be overwhelmed by my anxiety and shame that I became so sick to my stomach about going to the appointment. I didn’t want to see the disappointment in the doctor’s face and she looked at my weight on the chart.
You know what she did? She looked at the chart and without missing a beat said, “Wow. You have gained some, these past months since losing your mom has really been tough. Have you been seeing a therapist for help? We want to make sure you’re healthy.” Wow. What time I’ve wasted covering myself in shame, when I should have been owning my heartache, my mess, and allowing myself some grace for having a hard time. Allowing myself some grace for all that I’ve had to juggle in the past 7 months since my mom died. And maybe allowing myself some grace for eating a block of cheese. WHAT? DON’T PRETEND YOU NEVER HAVE. (omg, if you haven’t… don’t tell me.)
Is there something you’re shaming yourself for? Something that if you just said… “wait… I’m a mess. This is all a mess. Let me speak out about it, because I wonder if someone else is a mess too. Let me see if I can have someone to walk through this mess with me and help me clean it up.” Don’t be ashamed of your messes, realize the power that you’re holding. The power within yourself to embrace those around you and find common ground. Maybe we won’t all feel shamed and alone.
You are worthy of the power you hold. Embrace it.
Also, seriously if you make one comment about my block of Colby Jack cheese…
… I’ll do nothing about it because I’m lazy.