I’ve been going through a major life transition, upheaval, ship sinking fiasco. I’m a hot mess some of the time. I’m cool as a cucumber other times. But the truth is what I appear to be on the outside is rarely what is actually going on in the inside.
On the inside I am nerves and confusion. I am sadness and grief. But I am also full of excitement and joy. I am happy that I am finally listening to that voice inside me that’s been screaming at me to get my shit together.
I am in the middle of a long drawn out and often fought separation. My husband doesn’t understand my decision. He is angry and he is hurt. He can’t see my story as I have lived it. He wants the black and the white. But my life is neither. It is instead a Technicolor of stories and experiences.
These last 3 years have brought up so many stories, ones that go as far back as I can remember. They sometimes make me feel heavy and confused. I often feel lost and left wondering how I got where I am today.
But here’s the thing I had a happy childhood. I was well taken care of and loved. I have nothing to complain about. But I was also lonely and often alone. I craved to be seen and to be heard.
“Look at me” I would be yelling from the background, my hand covering my mouth for fear of actually being heard and seen.
I have memories of bullying and abuse. I do. I have memories I have not shared with others. I have half memories that I start to question if what I remember actually happened.
All these memories sit with me today and can be heavy. I have been carrying them with me hidden under a blanket protecting them from being heard.
But why? Why have I hidden them?
I’ll tell you why and once I do you will understand because you’ve probably been doing the same thing.
We are taught and encouraged to be positive and happy. We are taught to put on a smile even when we’re not feeling happy. We end up hiding our true selves in order to give the impression of sanity, happiness, normalcy, etc.
I for example have been truly unhappy in my marriage for years but from the outside I gave the impression that all was well when in reality I have been in pain, sadness, and loneliness. I hid my true feelings because I was scared of what would happen if I let my truth out.
I was a child who suffered at the hands of another child but I kept silent for fear of getting in trouble or being judged.
Through all my life experiences, even the unpleasant ones, I gave the impression of happiness and all is well.
When I’ve been sad or unhappy I’d hear “be positive,” “you’re actually lucky, things could be worse,” “you’re never happy”, and a plethora of other tidbits of positivity.
I get it. I am a believer of mindset and keeping your vibration up. I believe that what we focus on increases. If we focus on the negative we attract negative. And vice versa, if we focus on the positive we attract positive. So logically we would focus on the positive, which means to hide our sometimes natural and authentic feelings because they are negative.
Hiding our negative feelings doesn’t make them go away though. They still stay with us and end up festering. They end up permeating our person and affecting us at some level our whole life, unless…unless we face our stories and acknowledge them.
The truth is our stories have something valuable to teach us. Each story is different and each story has a different lesson. Running from them or brushing them under the rug does not serve anyone. It instead hurts all involved.
Facing our demons does not make us negative or unhappy. It does not make us a person to be avoided. Facing our stories allows us to learn great things that can be used to heal ourselves and others.
Being sad is not bad. Being angry is not bad. Being depressed is not bad. What is bad is being made to feel that who we are and how we are feeling is bad.
Your stories are a part of you and should be acknowledged and celebrated. They should be faced and sat with. They should be allowed to be felt.
When we come face to face with our stories we open up the door to healing and growth.
The saying goes, you can run but you can’t hide, and the truth is you shouldn’t hide. Eventually the story will find you and wouldn’t you rather be prepared to face it?
As an aside, when your story feels too heavy to handle, reach out to someone who can help. It may be a friend, or it may be a medical professional. There is nothing wrong with getting help. It is actually a good thing to do. It’s always nice to be supported. We all need it at times.
If in any way I can support you, let me know, I’d love to help if I can.