WARNING: This post WILL be controversial yet I know there will be many who need to read this.
Every now and then, I have a post that literally needs to be written. I mean a “Stop everything now and write” kinda post. A word bubbles to the surface and if I don’t get it out I feel like I’m going to explode! Here goes…
Let me start with my own experience. A couple of years ago I was asked, after leaving a comment on a blog for Christian women who overcome various life situations, to share my story with the blogs author.
So I did.
What I wasn’t prepared for was rejection.
I felt lured into a false sense of security.
Vulnerably I presented my scars and wounds.
Out came a dagger that added a fresh wound to my growing collection!
Two years later I got my answer! And here it is…
You see, what the blogs author wanted, and presented, was a happy clappy “look at us overcoming” attitude. “We’re winners, not losers!” And why? Because of God!
I’m in no way limiting this to a religion. This is for anyone who has been through a system. School. Church. Workplace. Even family!
For me it happens to be a little of each. For this example however I’m going to use my church experience. And right there people are not going to be happy with me and that in itself hits the root of the problem. Actually, two problems.
First, people love a good story. BUT, only if it has an ending. A happy ending. No one wants to read a story that stops at a cross road of choices. They need a conclusion. Movie makers rely on this to make money. They produce sequel after sequel knowing people come back in order to reach a ending. A conclusion.
Second, people part of a system, a group, a community, don’t want to show their weaknesses, their failures, their pains. They want to present PERFECTION!
The problem with my story is that it stopped with my face in the dirt, just about getting back up. My victory, although I’d say it was walking away from the situation, pulling myself back up, and resolving to move forward in forgiveness as the best I could be, wasn’t enough of a victory. In essence they said, “Once you have forgiven and have a better ending then come back.” In a place where I felt I could be vulnerable, I experience another face plant in the dirt!
The problem was I was imperfect. Marred. Outcast. Why?
I didn’t have it all together because I left church. I didn’t have a good story. I had yet to heal.
Leave church and you soon find out who your real friends are!
Actually, let me digress for a second.
I came across a post written to for Christians who go to church telling them how to treat those who left. It was one of the most condescending articles I’ve ever read. It basically said ONLY be nice to them, invite them for coffee etc with the motive to get them back into the institutional church! They weren’t genuine. If they really loved or cared for that person they would have done those things without any expectations of them coming back!
Imagine if you will, you left a community of some sort. Then one member invites you for coffee, pretending to be interested in your problems. They’re standing right in front of you. Yet if you could read their mind and knew their motive how would you feel?
There are, I believe, so many stumbling, fallen with no one to help them up except their own ounce of strength left, who in the worlds eyes are “Imperfect”. They turn a blind eye. But then those people, the people IN the arena fighting go on to win! Then people want to know them! Everyone who has fallen or stumbled has a great opportunity to be a change maker. To use their situation for good. Chances are you have fallen because you challenged something or stood for something you believed in. Or you simply made yourself vulnerable which shows you want to exercise the most poweful force on earth…LOVE! That makes you a hero in many peoples eyes!
Today, I’m breaking with perfection. In all areas of my life…my art, my work, my family, even in beliefs. People worry like crazy about wether or not they’re getting it right or conforming to other peoples expectations.
I’m so done with that!
I am me.
I am unique.
My story is unique. One of a kind.
And so is yours!
The thing is. While you’re lay there in the dirt, remember, you won’t stay there. You may trip and fall again. But you’re not alone. We’ve all been there except some help you up, others choose to turn their backs finding someone “perfect” in their own eyes.
There are numerous voices of those who have been there and want to help coming through mediums such as social media or books. I don’t think it’s any co-incidence that I’ve come across Brene Brown’s book, “Rising Strong”. I haven’t even begun chapter one yet and I can see already it’s talking about this very issue on my heart.
No doubt this will ruffle a few feathers. But being yourself does that. My aim is to be the best possible version of myself, including, seeing the good in those who judge, criticize, etc. I’m not there yet but I’m making my way there.